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Nat Rev Immunol. 2010 Feb;10(2):103-10. doi: 10.1038/nri2692. Epub 2010 Jan 18.

Disease-associated functions of IL-33: the new kid in the IL-1 family.

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  • 1Division of Immunology, Infection and Inflammation, Glasgow Biomedical Research Centre, University of Glasgow, 120 University Place, Glasgow G12 8TA, UK. f.y.liew@clinmed.gla.ac.uk


Interleukin-33 (IL-33), a newly described member of the IL-1 family, is expressed by many cell types following pro-inflammatory stimulation and is thought to be released on cell lysis. The IL-33 receptor, consisting of ST2 and IL-1 receptor accessory protein, is also widely expressed, particularly by T helper 2 (T(H)2) cells and mast cells. IL-33 is host-protective against helminth infection and reduces atherosclerosis by promoting T(H)2-type immune responses. However, IL-33 can also promote the pathogenesis of asthma by expanding T(H)2 cells and mediate joint inflammation, atopic dermatitis and anaphylaxis by mast cell activation. Thus IL-33 could be a new target for therapeutic intervention across a range of diseases.

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