• corticosteroid;
  • fibroblasts;
  • IL-13;
  • microvascular endothelial cells;
  • periostin


Overproduction of periostin, an IL-13-inducible matricellular protein, despite corticosteroid treatment is thought to be involved in the chronicity of allergic inflammation seen in corticosteroid-refractory tissue fibrosis. Therefore, we hypothesized that some tissue cells must produce periostin in a corticosteroid-insensitive manner. Here, we show that IL-4 and IL-13 each induced comparable levels of periostin production by primary normal human fibroblasts and microvascular endothelial cells derived from lung and skin. Dexamethasone, a corticosteroid, completely inhibited IL-4/13-induced, but did not affect TGF-β-induced, periostin production by fibroblasts. In contrast, dexamethasone synergistically enhanced IL-4/13-induced periostin production by microvascular endothelial cells. TGF-β did not induce periostin production by microvascular endothelial cells. Our novel findings suggest that IL-4/13-induced microvascular endothelium-derived and/or TGF-β-induced fibroblast-derived periostin might play a pivotal role in corticosteroid-refractory tissue fibrosis, leading to chronic allergic inflammation in the lung and/or skin.