IL-25/IL-33-responsive TH2 cells characterize nasal polyps with a default TH17 signature in nasal mucosa

Emily P S Lam, Harsha H Kariyawasam, Batika M J Rana, Stephen R Durham, Andrew N J McKenzie, Nicholas Powell, Nara Orban, Melissa Lennartz-Walker, Claire Hopkins, Sun Ying, Joanne Rimmer, Valerie J Lund, David J Cousins, Stephen J Till

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BACKGROUND: Chronic rhinosinusitis with nasal polyposis (CRSwNP) in Western countries is characterized by eosinophilia, IgE production, and TH2 cytokine expression. Type 2 innate lymphoid cells from polyps produce IL-5 and IL-13 in response to IL-25 and IL-33, although the relevance of this axis to local mucosal T-cell responses is unknown.

OBJECTIVE: We sought to investigate the role of the IL-25/IL-33 axis in local mucosal T-cell responses in patients with CRSwNP.

METHODS: Polyp tissue and blood were obtained from patients undergoing nasal polypectomy. Control nasal biopsy specimens and blood were obtained from healthy volunteers. Tissue was cultured in a short-term explant model. T-cell surface phenotype/intracellular cytokines were assessed by means of flow cytometry. T-cell receptor variable β-chain analysis was performed with the immunoSEQ assay. Microarrays were performed for gene expression analysis.

RESULTS: IL-25 receptor (IL-17RB)-expressing TH2 effector cells were identified in nasal polyp tissue but not the healthy nasal mucosa or periphery. IL-17RB(+)CD4(+) polyp-derived TH2 cells coexpressed ST2 (IL-33 receptor) and responded to IL-25 and IL-33 with enhanced IL-5 and IL-13 production. Within IL-17RB(+)CD4(+) T cells, several identical T-cell receptor variable β-chain complementarity-determining region 3 sequences were identified in different subjects, suggesting clonal expansion driven by a common antigen. Abundant IL-17-producing T cells were observed in both healthy nasal mucosal and polyp populations, with TH17-related genes the most overexpressed compared with peripheral blood T cells.

CONCLUSION: IL-25 and IL-33 can interact locally with IL-17RB(+)ST2(+) polyp T cells to augment TH2 responses in patients with CRSwNP. A local TH17 response might be important in healthy nasal mucosal immune homeostasis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1514-1524
JournalJournal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology
Issue number5
Early online date9 Dec 2015
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2016


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