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The Strathprints institutional repository is a digital archive of University of Strathclyde research outputs. Strathprints provides access to thousands of Open Access research papers by University of Strathclyde researchers, including those from the School of Psychological Sciences & Health - but also papers by researchers based within the Faculties of Science, Engineering, Humanities & Social Sciences, and from the Strathclyde Business School.

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IL-33 exacerbates antigen-induced arthritis by activating mast cells

Xu, Damo and Jiang, Hui-Rong and Kewin, Peter and Li, Yubin and Mu, Rong and Fraser, Alasdair R and Pitman, Nick and Kurowska-Stolarska, Mariola and McKenzie, Andrew N J and McInnes, Iain B and Liew, Foo Y (2008) IL-33 exacerbates antigen-induced arthritis by activating mast cells. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 105 (31). pp. 10913-10918.

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IL-33, a cytokine of the IL-1 family, is closely associated with type II T cell responses. Here, we report an unexpected proinflammatory role of IL-33 in inflammatory arthritis. IL-33 was expressed in synovial fibroblasts from patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Expression was markedly elevated in vitro by inflammatory cytokines. Mice lacking ST2, the IL-33 receptor alpha-chain, developed attenuated collagen-induced arthritis (CIA) and reduced ex vivo collagen-specific induction of proinflammatory cytokines (IL-17, TNFalpha, and IFNgamma), and antibody production. Conversely, treatment of wild-type (WT) but not ST2(-/-) mice with IL-33 exacerbated CIA and elevated production of both proinflammatory cytokines and anti-collagen antibodies. Mast cells expressed high levels of ST2 and responded directly to IL-33 to produce a spectrum of inflammatory cytokines and chemokines in vitro. In vivo, IL-33 treatment exacerbated CIA in ST2(-/-) mice engrafted with mast cells from WT but not from ST2(-/-) mice. Disease exacerbation was accompanied by elevated expression levels of proinflammatory cytokines. Our results demonstrate that IL-33 is a critical proinflammatory cytokine for inflammatory joint disease that integrates fibroblast activation with downstream immune activation mainly via an IL-33-driven, mast-cell-dependent pathway. Thus, this IL-1 superfamily member represents a therapeutic target for RA.