IL-33 enhances Siglec-8 mediated apoptosis of human eosinophils

Ho Jeong Na, Sherry A. Hudson, Bruce S. Bochner*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

61 Scopus citations


IL-33 activates eosinophils directly via the ST2 receptor. Like IL-5, IL-33 induces eosinophilia and eosinophilic airway inflammation in mouse models and primes human eosinophil responses. Previously, we reported that IL-5 priming enhances Siglec-8 mediated mitochondrial and reactive oxygen species (ROS)-dependent eosinophilic apoptosis and eliminates caspase dependence of this cell death process. Whether IL-33, like IL-5, augments pro-apoptotic pathways involving receptors such as Siglec-8 and in a similar manner has not been explored. Annexin-V labeling was performed to detect apoptosis in human eosinophils pre-incubated with or without a range of concentrations of IL-33 and/or IL-5 in the presence or absence of Siglec-8 monoclonal antibody (mAb) 2C4 and inhibitors of caspases. Tetramethyl-rhodamine staining was used as a marker of mitochondrial membrane potential loss and injury. ROS production was determined by measuring the superoxide dismutase-inhibitable reduction of cytochrome c. Cleavage of poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase (PARP) was assessed using Western blotting. Eosinophils cultured alone or with mAb 2C4 underwent low levels of apoptosis at 24. h. 2C4-induced eosinophil apoptosis was markedly and equally enhanced after culture for 24. h with either IL-33 or IL-5, although IL-5 was more potent. Effects on apoptosis with IL-33 and IL-5 were synergistic. In contrast, percentages of cells exhibiting reduced mitochondrial membrane potential were greater with IL-33 than IL-5 and effects of these cytokines were also synergistic. Antimycin, an inhibitor of mitochondrial electron transport, almost completely inhibited 2C4-induced apoptosis with either IL-33 or IL-5. Surprisingly, 2C4-induced eosinophil ROS production was significantly enhanced with IL-5 but not IL-33. Siglec-8-mediated apoptosis in the presence of IL-33 was more sensitive in magnitude than IL-5 to inhibition by the pan-caspase inhibitor Z-VAD-FMK, yet both cytokine conditions were associated with PARP cleavage. These data demonstrate that IL-33 is as effective but less potent than IL-5 in enhancing Siglec-8-mediated eosinophil apoptosis, and can synergize with IL-5. Eosinophils primed by IL-33 and/or IL-5 . in vivo would be expected to display enhanced susceptibility to undergoing Siglec-8-induced apoptosis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)169-174
Number of pages6
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2012


  • Apoptosis
  • Eosinophils
  • IL-33
  • Reactive oxygen species
  • Siglec-8

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Hematology
  • Biochemistry
  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology


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