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.
Bibliographical notePublisher Copyright:
© 2016 Sugawara et al.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Immunology and Allergy