The Journal of experimental medicine

Interleukin 25 regulates type 2 cytokine-dependent immunity and limits chronic inflammation in the gastrointestinal tract.

PMID 16606667


The cytokine interleukin (IL) 25 has been implicated in the initiation of type 2 immunity by driving the expression of type 2 cytokines such as IL-5 and IL-13, although its role in the regulation of immunity and infection-induced inflammation is unknown. Here, we identify a dual function for IL-25: first, in promoting type 2 cytokine-dependent immunity to gastrointestinal helminth infection and, second, in limiting proinflammatory cytokine production and chronic intestinal inflammation. Treatment of genetically susceptible mice with exogenous IL-25 promoted type 2 cytokine responses and immunity to Trichuris. IL-25 was constitutively expressed by CD4+ and CD8+ T cells in the gut of mouse strains that are resistant to Trichuris, and IL-25-deficient mice on a genetically resistant background failed to develop a type 2 immune response or eradicate infection. Furthermore, chronically infected IL-25(-/-) mice developed severe infection-induced intestinal inflammation associated with heightened expression of interferon-gamma and IL-17, identifying a role for IL-25 in limiting pathologic inflammation at mucosal sites. Therefore, IL-25 is not only a critical mediator of type 2 immunity, but is also required for the regulation of inflammation in the gastrointestinal tract.