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J Immunol. 2011 Dec 1;187(11):5795-804. doi: 10.4049/jimmunol.1102242. Epub 2011 Nov 2.

Lineage(-)Sca1+c-Kit(-)CD25+ cells are IL-33-responsive type 2 innate cells in the mouse bone marrow.

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Department of Immunology, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN 55905, USA.


IL-33 promotes type 2 immune responses, both protective and pathogenic. Recently, targets of IL-33, including several newly discovered type 2 innate cells, have been characterized in the periphery. In this study, we report that bone marrow cells from wild-type C57BL/6 mice responded with IL-5 and IL-13 production when cultured with IL-33. IL-33 cultures of bone marrow cells from Rag1 KO and Kit(W-sh/W-sh) mice also responded similarly; hence, eliminating the possible contributions of T, B, and mast cells. Rather, intracellular staining revealed that the IL-5- and IL-13-positive cells display a marker profile consistent with the Lineage(-)Sca-1(+)c-Kit(-)CD25(+) (LSK(-)CD25(+)) cells, a bone marrow cell population of previously unknown function. Freshly isolated LSK(-)CD25(+) cells uniformly express ST2, the IL-33 receptor. In addition, culture of sorted LSK(-)CD25(+) cells showed that they indeed produce IL-5 and IL-13 when cultured with IL-33 plus IL-2 and IL-33 plus IL-7. Furthermore, i.p. injections of IL-33 or IL-25 into mice induced LSK(-)CD25(+) cells to expand, in both size and frequency, and to upregulate ST2 and α(4)β(7) integrin, a mucosal homing marker. Thus, we identify the enigmatic bone marrow LSK(-)CD25(+) cells as IL-33 responsive, both in vitro and in vivo, with attributes similar to other type 2 innate cells described in peripheral tissues.

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