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The Alarmin Interleukin-33 Drives Protective Antiviral CD8+ T Cell Responses

Science  24 Feb 2012:
Vol. 335, Issue 6071, pp. 984-989
DOI: 10.1126/science.1215418

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Abstract

Pathogen-associated molecular patterns decisively influence antiviral immune responses, whereas the contribution of endogenous signals of tissue damage, also known as damage-associated molecular patterns or alarmins, remains ill defined. We show that interleukin-33 (IL-33), an alarmin released from necrotic cells, is necessary for potent CD8+ T cell (CTL) responses to replicating, prototypic RNA and DNA viruses in mice. IL-33 signaled through its receptor on activated CTLs, enhanced clonal expansion in a CTL-intrinsic fashion, determined plurifunctional effector cell differentiation, and was necessary for virus control. Moreover, recombinant IL-33 augmented vaccine-induced CTL responses. Radio-resistant cells of the splenic T cell zone produced IL-33, and efficient CTL responses required IL-33 from radio-resistant cells but not from hematopoietic cells. Thus, alarmin release by radio-resistant cells orchestrates protective antiviral CTL responses.

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