Enhanced innate type 2 immune response in peripheral blood from patients with asthma

Kathleen R. Bartemes, Gail M. Kephart, Stephanie J. Fox, Hirohito Kita

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

234 Scopus citations


Background In mice, group 2 innate lymphoid cells (ILC2s) likely mediate helminth immunity, inflammation, and tissue repair and remodeling. However, the involvement of ILC2s in human diseases, such as asthma, is not well understood. Objectives The goals of this study were to investigate whether peripheral blood specimens can be used to monitor innate type 2 immunity in human subjects and to examine whether ILC2s are involved in human asthma. Methods PBMCs from subjects with allergic asthma (AA), subjects with allergic rhinitis (AR), or healthy control (HC) subjects were cultured in vitro with IL-25 or IL-33. Flow cytometry and cell sorting were used to identify, isolate, and quantitate ILC2s in PBMCs. Results Human PBMCs produced IL-5 and IL-13 when stimulated with IL-33 or IL-25 in the presence of IL-2 without antigens. In addition, IL-7 or thymic stromal lymphopoietin were able to replace IL-2. The cell population with phenotypic ILC2 characteristics, lineage-CD127+CRTH2+ cells, responded to IL-33 and produced large quantities of IL-5 and IL-13 but undetectable levels of IL-4. PBMCs from subjects with AA produced significantly larger amounts of IL-5 and IL-13 in response to IL-25 or IL-33 than from subjects with AR or HC. The prevalence of ILC2s in blood was greater in the AA group than in the AR group or the HC group. Conclusions Innate type 2 immune responses are increased in asthma but not in AR, suggesting potential differences in the immunopathogenesis of these diseases. Peripheral blood is useful for evaluating innate type 2 immunity in humans.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)671-678.e4
JournalJournal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 2014


  • IL-13
  • IL-25
  • IL-33
  • IL-5
  • ILC2
  • allergy
  • asthma
  • innate immunity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology


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