IL-33-Dependent Group 2 Innate Lymphoid Cells Promote Cutaneous Wound Healing

J Invest Dermatol. 2016 Feb;136(2):487-496. doi: 10.1038/JID.2015.406.


Breaches in the skin barrier initiate an inflammatory immune response that is critical for successful wound healing. Innate lymphoid cells (ILCs) are a recently identified population of immune cells that reside at epithelial barrier surfaces such as the skin, lung, and gut, and promote proinflammatory or epithelial repair functions after exposure to allergens, pathogens, or chemical irritants. However, the potential role of ILCs in regulating cutaneous wound healing remains undefined. Here, we demonstrate that cutaneous injury promotes an IL-33-dependent group 2 ILC (ILC2) response and that abrogation of this response impairs re-epithelialization and efficient wound closure. In addition, we provide evidence suggesting that an analogous ILC2 response is operational in acute wounds of human skin. Together, these results indicate that IL-33-responsive ILC2s are an important link between the cutaneous epithelium and the immune system, acting to promote the restoration of skin integrity after injury.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Biopsy, Needle
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Humans
  • Immunity, Innate / immunology
  • Immunity, Innate / physiology*
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Interleukin-33 / immunology*
  • Interleukin-33 / metabolism
  • Lymphocytes / cytology
  • Lymphocytes / immunology
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Skin / injuries*
  • Skin / pathology
  • Wound Healing / immunology*
  • Wound Healing / physiology
  • Wounds and Injuries / immunology*
  • Wounds and Injuries / pathology


  • Interleukin-33