Small intestinal eosinophils regulate Th17 cells by producing IL-1 receptor antagonist

Reiko Sugawara, Eun Jung Lee, Min Seong Jang, Eun Ji Jeun, Chun Pyo Hong, Jung Hwan Kim, Areum Park, Chang Ho Yun, Sung Wook Hong, You Me Kim, Ju Young Seoh, Yun Jae Jung, Charles D. Surh, Masayuki Miyasaka, Bo Gie Yang, Myoung Ho Jang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

70 Citations (Scopus)


Eosinophils play proinflammatory roles in helminth infections and allergic diseases. Under steady-state conditions, eosinophils are abundantly found in the small intestinal lamina propria, but their physiological function is largely unexplored. In this study, we found that small intestinal eosinophils down-regulate Th17 cells. Th17 cells in the small intestine were markedly increased in the ΔdblGATA-1 mice lacking eosinophils, and an inverse correlation was observed between the number of eosinophils and that of Th17 cells in the small intestine of wild-type mice. In addition, small intestinal eosinophils suppressed the in vitro differentiation of Th17 cells, as well as IL-17 production by small intestinal CD4+ T cells. Unlike other small intestinal immune cells or circulating eosinophils, we found that small intestinal eosinophils have a unique ability to constitutively secrete high levels of IL-1 receptor antagonist (IL-1Ra), a natural inhibitor of IL-1β. Moreover, small intestinal eosinophils isolated from IL-1Ra-deficient mice failed to suppress Th17 cells. Collectively, our results demonstrate that small intestinal eosinophils play a pivotal role in the maintenance of intestinal homeostasis by regulating Th17 cells via production of IL-1Ra.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)555-567
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Experimental Medicine
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2016 Apr 4

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016 Sugawara et al.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology


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