IL-13 induces the expression of the alternative activation marker Ym1 in a subset of testicular macrophages

Katarzyna Maresz, Eugene D. Ponomarev, Natasha Barteneva, Yanping Tan, Monica K. Mann, Bonnie N. Dittel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Citations (Scopus)


Macrophages are thought to play an important role in the maintenance of immune privilege in the testis, which functions to prevent immune responses to developing sperm. Two populations of macrophages are known to exist in the testis, one of which exhibits immunosuppressive activity. Macrophages that are alternatively activated with either IL-4 or IL-13 have been shown to be anti-inflammatory and promote wound healing. Expression of the Ym1 protein is an established marker of alternatively activated macrophages. Testicular macrophages were examined for expression of Ym1 protein, and it was found to be highly expressed in a subpopulation of CD11b+ cells. Furthermore, we have shown that Ym1 protein expression in the testis is dependent upon IL-13R signaling, and that IL-13 is produced in the testis. These data suggest that IL-13 plays a role in testicular immune privilege by the maintenance of an alternatively activated macrophage population.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)140-148
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Reproductive Immunology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2008


  • Immune privilege
  • Immunosuppressive
  • Lung
  • Testis
  • Th2 immunity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology
  • Reproductive Medicine
  • Obstetrics and Gynaecology

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