IL-13 deficiency exacerbates lung damage and impairs epithelial-derived type 2 molecules during nematode infection

AL Chenery, S Rosini, JE Parkinson, JA Herrera, Craig Lawless, BHK Chan, P Loke, AS MacDonald, KE Kadler, TE Sutherland, JE Allen

Research output: Working paperPreprint


IL-13 plays a key role during protective type 2 immune responses at mucosal sites, such as during infection with nematodes. However, dysregulation of IL-13 can also contribute to the pathogenesis of atopic and fibrotic diseases such as allergic asthma. Matrix remodelling is an important component of repair processes in the lung but also a hallmark of chronic conditions involving fibrosis. Hence, understanding the role of IL-13 in tissue remodelling has important clinical implications. Since IL-13 shares receptors and signalling pathways with IL-4, disentangling the relative contributions of these type 2 cytokines has been challenging. Additionally, little is known about the singular role of IL-13 following acute tissue injury. In this study, we used Nippostrongylus brasiliensis infection as a model of acute lung tissue damage comparing responses between WT and IL-13-deficient mice, in which IL-4 signalling is intact. Importantly, we found that IL-13 played a critical role in limiting tissue injury and haemorrhaging in the lung following infection. Through proteomic and transcriptomic profiling, we identified IL-13-dependent changes in matrix and associated regulators. We further showed that IL-13 is required for the induction of epithelial-derived type 2 effector molecules such as RELM-α and surfactant protein D. Pathway analyses predicted that IL-13 was heavily involved in the induction of cellular stress responses and regulation of lung epithelial cell differentiation by suppression of Foxa2 pathways. Thus, we propose that IL-13 has tissue-protective functions during lung injury and regulates epithelial cell responses during type 2 immunity in this acute setting.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 14 Oct 2020


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