Mast cell-dependent IL-33/ST2 signaling is protective against the development of airway hyperresponsiveness in a house dust mite mouse model of asthma.Am J Physiol Lung Cell Mol Physiol 2018; 314(3):L484-L492AJ
Interleukin-33 (IL-33) and its receptor ST2 have been influentially associated with the pathophysiology of asthma. Due to the divergent roles of IL-33 in regulating mast cell functions, there is a need to further characterize IL-33/ST2-dependent mast cell responses and their significance in the context of asthma. This study aimed to investigate how IL-33/ST2-dependent mast cell responses contribute to the development of airway hyperresponsiveness (AHR) and airway inflammation in a mouse model of house dust mite (HDM)-induced asthma. Mast cell-deficient C57BL/6-KitW-sh (Wsh) mice engrafted with either wild-type (Wsh + MC-WT) or ST2-deficient bone marrow-derived mast cells (Wsh + MC-ST2KO) were exposed to HDM delivered intranasally. An exacerbated development of AHR in response to HDM was seen in Wsh + MC-ST2KO compared with Wsh + MC-WT mice. The contribution of this IL-33/ST2-dependent mast cell response to AHR seems to reside within the smaller airways in the peripheral parts of the lung, as suggested by the isolated yet marked effect on tissue resistance. Considering the absence of a parallel increase in cellular inflammation in bronchoalveolar lavage fluid (BALF) and lung, the aggravated AHR in Wsh + MC-ST2KO mice seems to be independent of cellular inflammation. We observed an association between the elevated AHR and reduced PGE2 levels in BALF. Due to the protective properties of PGE2 in airway responses, it is conceivable that IL-33/ST2-dependent mast cell induction of PGE2 could be responsible for the dampening effect on AHR. In conclusion, we reveal that IL-33/ST2-dependent mast cell responses can have a protective, rather than causative role, in the development of AHR.