Resolution of inflammation by interleukin-9-producing type 2 innate lymphoid cells

Nat Med. 2017 Aug;23(8):938-944. doi: 10.1038/nm.4373. Epub 2017 Jul 17.


Inflammatory diseases such as arthritis are chronic conditions that fail to resolve spontaneously. While the cytokine and cellular pathways triggering arthritis are well defined, those responsible for the resolution of inflammation are incompletely characterized. Here we identified interleukin (IL)-9-producing type 2 innate lymphoid cells (ILC2s) as the mediators of a molecular and cellular pathway that orchestrates the resolution of chronic inflammation. In mice, the absence of IL-9 impaired ILC2 proliferation and activation of regulatory T (Treg) cells, and resulted in chronic arthritis with excessive cartilage destruction and bone loss. In contrast, treatment with IL-9 promoted ILC2-dependent Treg activation and effectively induced resolution of inflammation and protection of bone. Patients with rheumatoid arthritis in remission exhibited high numbers of IL-9+ ILC2s in joints and the circulation. Hence, fostering IL-9-mediated ILC2 activation may offer a novel therapeutic approach inducing resolution of inflammation rather than suppression of inflammatory responses.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Animals
  • Arthritis, Experimental / diagnostic imaging
  • Arthritis, Experimental / genetics*
  • Arthritis, Experimental / immunology
  • Arthritis, Experimental / pathology
  • Arthritis, Rheumatoid / genetics*
  • Arthritis, Rheumatoid / immunology
  • Cell Proliferation / genetics*
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Female
  • Flow Cytometry
  • Gene Expression Profiling
  • Gene Transfer Techniques
  • Humans
  • Immunity, Innate / immunology
  • In Vitro Techniques
  • Inflammation
  • Interleukin-9 / genetics*
  • Interleukin-9 / immunology
  • Lymphocytes / immunology
  • Lymphocytes / metabolism*
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Knockout
  • Middle Aged
  • Optical Imaging
  • Synovial Membrane / cytology
  • Synovial Membrane / immunology
  • T-Lymphocytes, Helper-Inducer / immunology
  • T-Lymphocytes, Regulatory / immunology
  • T-Lymphocytes, Regulatory / metabolism*
  • X-Ray Microtomography


  • Interleukin-9