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01.12.2018 | Research | Ausgabe 1/2018 Open Access

Journal of Neuroinflammation 1/2018

IL-33/ST2 plays a critical role in endothelial cell activation and microglia-mediated neuroinflammation modulation

Journal of Neuroinflammation > Ausgabe 1/2018
Kelei Cao, Xiang Liao, Jiahui Lu, Shu Yao, Fengjiao Wu, Xingxing Zhu, Dongyan Shi, Shuang Wen, Lixin Liu, Hong Zhou



Interleukin-33 (IL-33) is increasingly being recognized as a key immunomodulatory cytokine in many neurological diseases.


In the present study, wild-type (WT) and IL-33−/− mice received intracerebroventricular (i.c.v.) injection of lipopolysaccharide (LPS) to induce neuroinflammation. Intravital microscopy was employed to examine leukocyte–endothelial interactions in the brain vasculature. The degree of neutrophil infiltration was determined by myeloperoxidase (MPO) staining. Real-time PCR and western blotting were used to detect endothelial activation. Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay and quantitative PCR were conducted to detect pro-inflammatory cytokine levels in the brain.


In IL-33−/− mice, neutrophil infiltration in the brain cortex and leukocyte–endothelial cell interactions in the cerebral microvessels were significantly decreased as compared to WT mice after LPS injection. In addition, IL-33−/− mice showed reduced activation of microglia and cerebral endothelial cells. In vitro results indicated that IL-33 directly activated cerebral endothelial cells and promoted pro-inflammatory cytokine production in LPS-stimulated microglia.


Our study indicated that IL-33/ST2 signaling plays an important role in the activation of microglia and cerebral endothelial cells and, therefore, is essential in leukocyte recruitment in brain inflammation.

Graphical abstract

The role of IL-33/ST2 in LPS induced neuroinflammation
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