Cytokines are inflammatory mediators important in responding to pathogens and other foreign challenges. Interleukin-4 (IL-4) and IL-13 are two cytokines produced by T helper type 2 cells, mast cells, and basophils. In addition to their physiological roles, these cytokines are also implicated in pathological conditions such as asthma and allergy. IL-4 can stimulate two receptors, type I and type II, whereas IL-13 signaling is mediated only by the type II receptor (see the STKE Connections Maps). These cytokines activate the Janus kinase/signal transducer and activator of transcription (JAK/STAT) signaling cascades, which may contribute to allergic responses. In addition, stimulation of the phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K) pathway through recruitment of members of the insulin receptor substrate family may contribute to survival and proliferation.