Interleukin 33 expression induced by aryl hydrocarbon receptor in macrophages.

A new interesting article has been published in Toxicol Sci. 2019 May 15. pii: kfz114. doi: 10.1093/toxsci/kfz114. and titled:

Interleukin 33 expression induced by aryl hydrocarbon receptor in macrophages.

Authors of this article are:

Ishihara Y, Haarmann-Stemmann T, Kado NY,, Vogel CFA.

A summary of the article is shown below:

Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) contained in airborne particulate matter have been identified as a contributing factor for inflammation in the respiratory tract. Recently, interleukin-33 (IL-33) is strongly suggested to be associated with airway inflammation. Aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AhR) is a receptor for PAHs to regulates several metabolic enzymes, but the relationships between AhR and airway inflammation are still unclear. In this study, we examined the role of AhR in the expression of interleukin-33 (IL-33) in macrophages. THP-1 macrophages mainly expressed IL-33 variant 5, which in turn was strongly induced by the AhR agonists 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin (TCDD) and kynurenine (KYN). AhR antagonist CH223191 suppressed the increase in IL-33 expression. Promoter analysis revealed that the IL-33 promoter has two dioxin response elements (DREs). AhR was recruited to both DREs after treatment with TCDD or KYN as assessed by gel shift and chromatin immunoprecipitation assays. A luciferase assay showed that one of the DREs was functional and involved in the expression of IL-33. Macrophages isolated from AhR-null mice expressed only low levels of IL-33 even in response to treatment with AhR ligands compared with wild-type cells. The treatment of THP-1 macrophages with diesel particulate matter and particle extracts increased the mRNA and protein expression of IL-33. Taken together, the results show that ligand-activated AhR mediates the induction of IL-33 in macrophages via a DRE located in the IL-33 promoter region. AhR-mediated IL-33 induction could be involved in the exacerbation and/or prolongation of airway inflammation elicited by toxic chemical substances.© The Author(s) 2019. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Society of Toxicology. All rights reserved. For permissions, please email:

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This article is a good source of information and a good way to become familiar with topics such as: AhR; IL-33; diesel particulate matter; macrophages.

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