The ST2 receptor is a member of the Toll/IL-1R superfamily and interleukin-33 (IL-33) is its agonist. Recently, it has been demonstrated that IL-33/ST2 axis plays key roles in inflammation and immune mediated diseases. Here, we investigated the effect of ST2 deficiency in Staphylococcus aureus-induced septic arthritis physiopathology. Synovial fluid samples from septic arthritis and osteoarthritis individuals were assessed regarding IL-33 and soluble (s) ST2 levels. The IL-33 levels in samples from synovial fluid were significantly increased, whereas no sST2 levels were detected in patients with septic arthritis when compared with osteoarthritis individuals. The intra-articular injection of 1 × 107 colony-forming unity/10 μl of S. aureus American Type Culture Collection 6538 in wild-type (WT) mice induced IL-33 and sST2 production with a profile resembling the observation in the synovial fluid of septic arthritis patients. Data using WT, and ST2 deficient (-/-) and interferon-γ (IFN-γ)-/- mice showed that ST2 deficiency shifts the immune balance toward a type 1 immune response that contributes to eliminating the infection due to enhanced microbicide effect via NO production by neutrophils and macrophages. In fact, the treatment of ST2-/- bone marrow-derived macrophage cells with anti-IFN-γ abrogates the beneficial phenotype in the absence of ST2, which confirms that ST2 deficiency leads to IFN-γ expression and boosts the bacterial killing activity of macrophages against S. aureus. In agreement, WT cells achieved similar immune response to ST2 deficiency by IFN-γ treatment. The present results unveil a previously unrecognized beneficial effect of ST2 deficiency in S. aureus-induced septic arthritis.
- Interleukin-33, ST2, septic arthritis, Staphylococcus aureus, interferon-γ, nitric oxide, Th1, M1 macrophage