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Paper Chase

IL-33/ST2 axis promotes mast cell survival via BCLXL.

Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A.. Jul 15, 2014;111(28):10281-6.
Wang JX, Kaieda S, Ameri S, Fishgal N, Dwyer D, Dellinger A, Kepley CL, Gurish MF, Nigrovic PA.

Division of Rheumatology, Immunology, and Allergy, Department of Medicine, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA 02115;Division of Immunology, Department of Medicine, Boston Children's Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA 02115


Mast cells (MC) are potent innate immune cells that accumulate in chronically inflamed tissues. MC express the IL-33 receptor IL-1 receptor-related protein ST2 at high level, and this IL-1 family cytokine both activates MC directly and primes them to respond to other proinflammatory signals. Whether IL-33 and ST2 play a role in MC survival remains to be defined. In skin-derived human MC, we found that IL-33 attenuated MC apoptosis without altering proliferation, an effect mediated principally through the antiapoptotic molecule B-cell lymphoma-X large (BCLXL). Murine MC demonstrated a similar mechanism, dependent entirely on ST2. In line with these observations, St2(-/-) mice exhibited reduced numbers of tissue MC in inflamed arthritic joints, in helminth-infected intestine, and in normal peritoneum. To confirm an MC-intrinsic role for ST2 in vivo, we performed peritoneal transfer of WT and St2(-/-) MC. In St2(-/-) hosts treated with IL-33 and in WT hosts subjected to thioglycollate peritonitis, WT MC displayed a clear survival advantage over coengrafted St2(-/-) MC. IL-33 blockade specifically attenuated this survival advantage, confirming IL-33 as the relevant ST2 ligand mediating MC survival in vivo. Together, these data reveal a cell-intrinsic role for the IL-33/ST2 axis in the regulation of apoptosis in MC, identifying thereby a previously unappreciated pathway supporting expansion of the MC population with inflammation.