J Biol Regul Homeost Agents. 2018 Sep-Oct;32(5):1061-1065.

IL-33 mediates allergy through mast cell activation: Potential inhibitory effect of certain cytokines.

Tettamanti L1, Kritas SK2, Gallenga CE3, D’Ovidio C4, Mastrangelo F5, Ronconi G6, Caraffa A7, Toniato E8, Pio Conti 9.

Author information

1 Department of Medical and Morphological Science, University of Insubria, Varese, Italy.
2 Department of Microbiology and Infectious Diseases, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Macedonia, Greece.
3 Department of Biomedical Sciences and Specialist Surgery, Section of Ophthalmology, University of Ferrara, Italy.
4 Section of Legal Medicine, Department of Medicine and Aging Sciences, “G. d’Annunzio” University of Chieti-Pescara, Italy.
5 Department of Medical Science and Biotechnology, University of Foggia, Foggia, Italy.
6 UOS Clinica dei Pazienti del Territorio, Policlinico Gemelli, Rome, Italy.
7 School of Pharmacy, University of Camerino, Camerino, Italy.
8 Department of Medical, Oral and Biotechnological Sciences, University “G. d’Annunzio” of Chieti-Pescara, Chieti, Italy.
9 Immunology Division, Postgraduate Medical School, University of Chieti-Pescara, Chieti, Italy.




Mast cells (MCs) are hematopoietic immune cells commonly found in adjacent to blood vessels in the lamina propria of airway mucosa. They are important in allergic reactions since the cross-linking of their surface high affinity receptor FceRI induces activation of these cells, and provokes the synthesis, degranulation and release of inflammatory mediators including arachidonic acid-derived eicosanoids (de novo synthesized), stored enzyme mediators, and inflammatory TH1 and TH2 cytokines, and chemokines. Interleukin (IL)-33 participates in innate and adaptive immunity and inflammation and, acting on CD34+ cells, causes MC differentiation and maturation. IL-33 is generated by activated immune cells, and activates MCs which degranulate and release pro-inflammatory mediators. IL-33 is very important in mediating allergic inflammation and can be induced by IL-1 beta. It is also called “alarmin” and is an inflammatory cytokine IL-1 family member, expressed from mocytes and MCs, which binds its receptor ST2, provoking its release after cell damage. MC-derived allergic compounds in response to IL-33 is critical to innate type 2 immunity. IL-37 is expressed by immune and non-immune cells after pro-inflammatory stimulus. IL-37, an anti-inflammatory cytokine, binds IL-18Ra and suppresses pro-inflammatory IL-1 beta released by activated immune cells such as macrophages. Here, we hypothesize that pro-inflammatory IL-1 family member cytokines released by activated MCs, mediating inflammatory allergic phenomenon, can be suppressed by IL-37.

Publication type

Publication type

  • Editorial

You may also like...