Loss of IL-33 enhances elastase-induced and cigarette smoke extract-induced emphysema in mice

Daisuke Morichika, Akihiko Taniguchi, Naohiro Oda, Utako Fujii, Satoru Senoo, Junko Itano, Arihiko Kanehiro, Yoshiaki Kitaguchi, Masanori Yasuo, Masayuki Hanaoka, Takashi Satoh, Shizuo Akira, Katsuyuki Kiura, Yoshinobu Maeda, Nobuaki Miyahara

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


Background: IL-33, which is known to induce type 2 immune responses via group 2 innate lymphoid cells, has been reported to contribute to neutrophilic airway inflammation in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. However, its role in the pathogenesis of emphysema remains unclear. Methods: We determined the role of interleukin (IL)-33 in the development of emphysema using porcine pancreas elastase (PPE) and cigarette smoke extract (CSE) in mice. First, IL-33−/− mice and wild-type (WT) mice were given PPE intratracheally. The numbers of inflammatory cells, and the levels of cytokines and chemokines in the bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) fluid and lung homogenates, were analyzed; quantitative morphometry of lung sections was also performed. Second, mice received CSE by intratracheal instillation. Quantitative morphometry of lung sections was then performed again. Results: Intratracheal instillation of PPE induced emphysematous changes and increased IL-33 levels in the lungs. Compared to WT mice, IL-33−/− mice showed significantly greater PPE-induced emphysematous changes. No differences were observed between IL-33−/− and WT mice in the numbers of macrophages or neutrophils in BAL fluid. The levels of hepatocyte growth factor were lower in the BAL fluid of PPE-treated IL-33−/− mice than WT mice. IL-33−/− mice also showed significantly greater emphysematous changes in the lungs, compared to WT mice, following intratracheal instillation of CSE. Conclusion: These observations suggest that loss of IL-33 promotes the development of emphysema and may be potentially harmful to patients with COPD.

Original languageEnglish
Article number150
JournalRespiratory Research
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2021


  • COPD
  • Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
  • HGF
  • VEGF

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine


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