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Nat Med. 2012 May;18(5):751-8. doi: 10.1038/nm.2735.

Interleukin-25 induces type 2 cytokine production in a steroid-resistant interleukin-17RB+ myeloid population that exacerbates asthmatic pathology.

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  • 1Department of Pathology, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, USA.


Interleukin-25 (IL-25) is a cytokine associated with allergy and asthma that functions to promote type 2 immune responses at mucosal epithelial surfaces and serves to protect against helminth parasitic infections in the intestinal tract. This study identifies the IL-25 receptor, IL-17RB, as a key mediator of both innate and adaptive pulmonary type 2 immune responses. Allergen exposure upregulated IL-25 and induced type 2 cytokine production in a previously undescribed granulocytic population, termed type 2 myeloid (T2M) cells. Il17rb(-/-) mice showed reduced lung pathology after chronic allergen exposure and decreased type 2 cytokine production in T2M cells and CD4(+) T lymphocytes. Airway instillation of IL-25 induced IL-4 and IL-13 production in T2M cells, demonstrating their importance in eliciting T cell-independent inflammation. The adoptive transfer of T2M cells reconstituted IL-25-mediated responses in Il17rb(-/-) mice. High-dose dexamethasone treatment did not reduce the IL-25-induced T2M pulmonary response. Finally, a similar IL-4- and IL-13-producing granulocytic population was identified in peripheral blood of human subjects with asthma. These data establish IL-25 and its receptor IL-17RB as targets for innate and adaptive immune responses in chronic allergic airway disease and identify T2M cells as a new steroid-resistant cell population.

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