IL-33 is a chemoattractant for human Th2 cells

Eur J Immunol. 2007 Oct;37(10):2779-86. doi: 10.1002/eji.200737547.


IL-33 is a novel cytokine of the IL-1 family and mediates its biological effect via the receptor ST2, which is selectively expressed on Th2 cells but not Th1 cells. IL-33 drives production of Th2-associated cytokines including IL-5 and IL-13 and thereby promotes defense and pathology in mucosal organs. Cell locomotion is crucial to the induction of an effective immune response. We report here the chemoattraction of Th2 cells by IL-33. Recombinant IL-33 increased the proportion of human Th2 cells, but not Th1 cells, in polarized morphology in vitro and stimulated their subsequent invasion into collagen gels in an IL-33 concentration-dependent manner. Injection of recombinant IL-33 into the footpad of ST2(-/-) mice which had been adoptively transferred with polarized Th2 cells, led to local accumulation of the transferred Th2 cells. These data therefore demonstrate that IL-33 is a selective Th2 chemoattractant associated with the pro-inflammatory property of this novel cytokine.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Polarity / immunology
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Chemotactic Factors / physiology*
  • Chemotaxis, Leukocyte / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Interleukin-33
  • Interleukins / physiology*
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred BALB C
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Mice, Knockout
  • Mice, Transgenic
  • Rats
  • Th2 Cells / metabolism*


  • Chemotactic Factors
  • IL33 protein, human
  • Interleukin-33
  • Interleukins