Endogenous IL-33 and Its Autoamplification of IL-33/ST2 Pathway Play an Important Role in Asthma

Jenna M Magat, Joanna L Thomas, Justin P Dumouchel, Fiona Murray, Willis X. Li, Jinghong Li

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IL-33 and its receptor ST2 are contributing factors to airway inflammation and asthma exacerbation. The IL-33/ST2 signaling pathway is involved in both the onset and the acute exacerbations of asthma. In this study, we address the role of endogenous IL-33 and its autoamplification of the IL-33/ST2 pathway in Ag-dependent and Ag-independent asthma-like models. Wild-type, IL-33 knockout, ST2 knockout mice were either intratracheally administrated with 500 ng of rIL-33 per day for four consecutive days or were sensitized and challenged with OVA over 21 d. In wild-type mice, IL-33 or OVA induced similar airway hyperresponsiveness and eosinophilic airway inflammation. IL-33 induced its own mRNA and ST2L mRNA expression in the lung. IL-33 autoamplified itself and ST2 protein expression in airway epithelial cells. OVA also induced IL-33 and ST2 protein expression. In IL-33 knockout mice, the IL-33– and OVA-induced airway hyperresponsiveness and eosinophilic airway inflammation were both significantly attenuated, whereas IL-33–induced ST2L mRNA expression was preserved, although no autoamplification of IL-33/ST2 pathway was observed. In ST2 knockout mice, IL-33 and OVA induced airway hyperresponsiveness and eosinophilic airway inflammation were both completely diminished, and no IL-33/ST2 autoamplification was observed. These results suggest that endogenous IL-33 and its autoamplification of IL-33/ST2 pathway play an important role in the induction of asthma-like phenotype. Thus an intact IL-33/ST2 pathway is necessary for both Ag-dependent and Ag-independent asthma-like mouse models.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1592-1597
Number of pages6
JournalThe Journal of Immunology
Issue number6
Early online date27 Jan 2020
Publication statusPublished - 15 Mar 2020


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