For many years IL-33 has been widely studied in the context of T helper type 2 (Th2)-driven inflammatory disorders. Interestingly, IL-33 has now emerged as a cytokine with a plethora of pleiotropic properties. Depending on the immune cells targeted by IL-33, it is reported to not only promote Th2 immunity, but also to induce T helper type 1 (Th1) immunity. Furthermore, recent studies have revealed that IL-33 can activate CD8(+) T cells. These new studies provide evidence for its beneficial role in antiviral and antitumor immunity. Here we review the evidence of IL-33 to drive protective T cell immunity plus its potential use as an adjuvant in vaccination and tumor therapy.
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