IL-33 changes CD25hi Tregs to Th17 cells through a dendritic cell-mediated pathway

Su Ho Park, Hak Jun Jung, Tae Sung Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


Interleukin (IL)-33 is an alarmin factor that is highly secreted in a variety of autoimmune diseases, induces maturation of dendritic cells (DCs) and differentiation of T helper 17 (Th17) cells. As the balance between Th17 cells and regulatory T cells (Tregs) is important to maintain immune homeostasis, in this study, we investigated the effects of IL-33 on Treg cell response. We observed that direct treatment with IL-33 had no effect on Treg differentiation, whereas IL-33-matured DCs (IL33-matDCs) inhibited the differentiation of CD4+ T cells to Tregs by decreasing the expression of Foxp3. Furthermore, co-culture with IL-33-matDCs changed stable Tregs (CD25hiCD4+ Tregs) to IL-17-producing cells, whereas IL-33-matDCs had little effects on unstable Tregs (CD25loCD4+ Tregs). The stable Tregs were demonstrated to express high levels of IL-6 receptors. Blocking of IL-6 secreted from IL-33-matDCs suppressed the conversion of Tregs to Th17 cells, indicating the greater propensity to convert stable Tregs to Th17 cells is due to IL-6 signaling. Taken together, these results demonstrate that IL-33 inhibits Treg differentiation and the conversion of stable Tregs to Th17 cells via DCs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5-10
Number of pages6
JournalImmunology Letters
Publication statusPublished - 2020 Feb


  • IL-33
  • IL-6 signaling
  • Matured DCs
  • Th17 cells
  • Treg conversion
  • Treg differentiation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology


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