The activation and function of IL-36γ in neutrophilic inflammation in chronic rhinosinusitis

Hai Wang, Zhi Yong Li*, Wen Xiu Jiang, Bo Liao, Guan Ting Zhai, Nan Wang, Zhen Zhen, Jian wen Ruan, Xiao Bo Long, Heng Wang, Wei Hong Liu, Geng Tian Liang, Wei Min Xu, Atsushi Kato, Zheng Liu

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

97 Scopus citations


Background: Although increased accumulation of neutrophils has been noted in chronic rhinosinusitis (CRS), the function and regulation of neutrophils in CRS are largely unknown. IL-36 family cytokines may play an important role in neutrophilic inflammation. Objective: This study sought to investigate the expression and function of IL-36 cytokines in CRS. Methods: Quantitative RT-PCR, immunohistochemistry, immunofluorescence, and ELISA were used to investigate the expression of IL-36 cytokines and IL-36 receptor (IL-36R) in sinonasal mucosa. The expression of IL-36R on neutrophils in polyps and blood was measured by flow cytometry. Purified blood neutrophils were cultured to investigate the regulation of IL-36R expression. The cleavage of IL-36γ was detected by Western blotting. Dispersed nasal polyp cells were treated with IL-36γ with or without elastase inhibitor and dexamethasone. Results: Neutrophil infiltration and expression of IL-36 cytokines and IL-36R were upregulated in both CRS with and without nasal polyps. IL-36γ was the most abundant isoform and mainly expressed by epithelial cells in CRS. Neutrophils were the principal IL-36R+ cell type in polyps. IL-36R expression was almost absent in blood neutrophils and upregulated by IL-6, IL-1β, and Dermatophagoides pteronyssinus group 1. Elastase activity was increased in polyps and degraded full-length IL-36γ. Consistently, the levels of cleaved IL-36γ were increased in polyps. Full-length IL-36γ promoted the production of matrix metalloproteinase 9; IL-17A; and chemokine (C-X-C motif) ligands 1, 2, and 8 from dispersed nasal polyp cells, which was abolished by elastase inhibitor. The proinflammatory effect of IL-36γ was not suppressed by dexamethasone. Conclusions: Increased production and activation of IL-36γ may act on neutrophils and further exaggerate neutrophilic inflammation in CRS.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1646-1658
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2018


  • Activate
  • IL-17
  • IL-36
  • chronic rhinosinusitis
  • elastase
  • nasal polyps
  • neutrophil

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology


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