IL-33/ST2 axis plays a protective effect in streptococcus pyogenes infection through strengthening of the innate immunity

Chih Feng Kuo, Wei Yu Chen, Hai Han Yu, Yu Hsuan Tsai, Ya Chu Chang, Chih Peng Chang, Nina Tsao

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Group A Streptococcus (GAS) causes invasive human diseases with the cytokine storm. Interleukin-33 (IL-33)/suppression of tumorigenicity 2 (ST2) axis is known to drive TH2 response, while its effect on GAS infection is unclear. We used an air pouch model to examine the effect of the IL-33/ST2 axis on GAS-induced necrotizing fasciitis. GAS infection induced IL-33 expression in wild-type (WT) C57BL/6 mice, whereas the IL-33- and ST2-knockout mice had higher mortality rates, more severe skin lesions and higher bacterial loads in the air pouches than those of WT mice after infection. Surveys of infiltrating cells in the air pouch of GAS-infected mice at the early stage found that the number and cell viability of infiltrating cells in both gene knockout mice were lower than those of WT mice. The predominant effector cells in GAS-infected air pouches were neutro-phils. Absence of the IL-33/ST2 axis enhanced the expression of inflammatory cytokines, but not TH1 or TH2 cytokines, in the air pouch after infection. Using in vitro assays, we found that the IL- 33/ST2 axis not only enhanced neutrophil migration but also strengthened the bactericidal activity of both sera and neutrophils. These results suggest that the IL-33/ST2 axis provided the protective effect on GAS infection through enhancing the innate immunity.

Original languageEnglish
Article number10566
JournalInternational journal of molecular sciences
Issue number19
Publication statusPublished - 2021 Oct 1

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Catalysis
  • Molecular Biology
  • Spectroscopy
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Organic Chemistry
  • Inorganic Chemistry


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