IL-33: a tissue derived cytokine pathway involved in allergic inflammation and asthma

Clin Exp Allergy. 2010 Feb;40(2):200-8. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2222.2009.03384.x. Epub 2009 Nov 3.


Besides classic T cell-derived T-helper type 2 (Th2) cytokines such as IL-4, IL-5 and IL-13, tissue-produced cytokines such as thymic stromal lymphopoietin, IL-25 and IL-33 are now recognized as important contributors to allergic inflammation. IL-33 is produced by various tissue dwelling cells and broadly enhances allergic inflammation through its effects on hematopoietic cell types. The environmental or endogenous triggers that provoke IL-33 cellular release may be associated with infection, inflammation or tissue damage. This review summarizes the wide range of documented IL-33 activities on human cellular mediators of inflammation as well as genetic evidence that IL-33 contributes to disease. Finally, there will be a discussion of still unanswered questions regarding the mechanisms by which cytokine activity is generated and IL-33's relationship with other Th2-associated cytokines.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Asthma / immunology*
  • Humans
  • Hypersensitivity / immunology*
  • Inflammation / immunology
  • Interleukin-33
  • Interleukins / immunology*


  • IL33 protein, human
  • Interleukin-33
  • Interleukins