IL-33–mediated IL-13 secretion by ST2+ Tregs controls inflammation after lung injury

Quan Liu, Gaelen K. Dwyer, Yifei Zhao, Huihua Li, Lisa R. Mathews, Anish Bhaswanth Chakka, Uma R. Chandran, Jake A. Demetris, John F. Alcorn, Keven M. Robinson, Luis A. Ortiz, Bruce R. Pitt, Angus W. Thomson, Ming Hui Fan, Timothy R. Billiar*, Hēth R. Turnquist

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

71 Scopus citations


Acute respiratory distress syndrome is an often fatal disease that develops after acute lung injury and trauma. How released tissue damage signals, or alarmins, orchestrate early inflammatory events is poorly understood. Herein we reveal that IL-33, an alarmin sequestered in the lung epithelium, is required to limit inflammation after injury due to an unappreciated capacity to mediate Foxp3+ Treg control of local cytokines and myeloid populations. Specifically, Il33–/– mice are more susceptible to lung damage–associated morbidity and mortality that is typified by augmented levels of the proinflammatory cytokines and Ly6Chi monocytes in the bronchoalveolar lavage fluid. Local delivery of IL-33 at the time of injury is protective but requires the presence of Treg cells. IL-33 stimulates both mouse and human Tregs to secrete IL-13. Using Foxp3Cre × Il4/Il13fl/fl mice, we show that Treg expression of IL-13 is required to prevent mortality after acute lung injury by controlling local levels of G-CSF, IL-6, and MCP-1 and inhibiting accumulation of Ly6Chi monocytes. Our study identifies a regulatory mechanism involving IL-33 and Treg secretion of IL-13 in response to tissue damage that is instrumental in limiting local inflammatory responses and may shape the myeloid compartment after lung injury.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere123919
JournalJCI Insight
Issue number6
StatePublished - 21 Mar 2019
Externally publishedYes


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