IL-33 Induces Murine Intestinal Goblet Cell Differentiation Indirectly via Innate Lymphoid Cell IL-13 Secretion.


Division of Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition, Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center, Cincinnati, OH 45229; [Email]


Regulation of the intestinal mucus layer by goblet cells is important for preventing inflammation and controlling infection. IL-33, a cytokine upregulated in inflammatory bowel disease and helminth infection, induces intestinal goblet cells, but the mechanism remains unclear. Enteroids are three-dimensional structures of primary small intestinal epithelial cells that contain all differentiated intestinal epithelial cell types. We developed an enteroid-immune cell coculture model to determine the mechanism through which IL-33 affects intestinal goblet cell differentiation. We report that IL-33 does not directly induce goblet cell differentiation in murine enteroids; however, IL-13, a cytokine induced by IL-33, markedly induces goblet cells and gene expression consistent with goblet cell differentiation. When enteroids are cocultured with CD90+ mesenteric lymph node cells from IL-33-treated mice, IL-33 then induces IL-13 secretion by group 2 innate lymphoid cells and enteroid gene expression consistent with goblet cell differentiation. In cocultures, IL-33-induced Muc2 expression is dependent on enteroid Il4ra expression, demonstrating a requirement for IL-13 signaling in epithelial cells. In vivo, IL-33-induced intestinal goblet cell hyperplasia is dependent on IL-13. These studies demonstrate that IL-33 induces intestinal goblet cell differentiation not through direct action on epithelial cells but indirectly through IL-13 production by goup 2 innate lymphoid cells.