The role of innate immune cells in allergen immunotherapy that confers immune tolerance to the sensitizing allergen is unclear. Here, we report a role of interleukin-10-producing type 2 innate lymphoid cells (IL-10+ ILC2s) in modulating grass-pollen allergy. We demonstrate that KLRG1+ but not KLRG1- ILC2 produced IL-10 upon activation with IL-33 and retinoic acid. These cells attenuated Th responses and maintained epithelial cell integrity. IL-10+ KLRG1+ ILC2s were lower in patients with grass-pollen allergy when compared to healthy subjects. In a prospective, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial, we demonstrated that the competence of ILC2 to produce IL-10 was restored in patients who received grass-pollen sublingual immunotherapy. The underpinning mechanisms were associated with the modification of retinol metabolic pathway, cytokine-cytokine receptor interaction, and JAK-STAT signaling pathways in the ILCs. Altogether, our findings underscore the contribution of IL-10+ ILC2s in the disease-modifying effect by allergen immunotherapy.
Keywords: IL-10; KLRG1; allergen specific immunotherapy; allergy; group 2 innate lymphoid cells; immunotherapy; innate lymphoid cells; plasticity; retinoic acid.
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