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    IL-33 acts as a costimulatory signal to generate alloreactive Th1 cells in graft-versus-host disease. The Journal of clinical investigation Antigen-presenting cells (APCs) integrate signals emanating from local pathology and program appropriate T cell responses. In allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (alloHCT), recipient conditioning releases damage-associated molecular patterns (DAMPs) that generate proinflammatory APCs that secrete IL-12, which is a driver of donor Th1 responses, causing graft-versus-host disease (GVHD). Nevertheless, other mechanisms exist to initiate alloreactive T cell responses, as recipients with disrupted DAMP signaling or lacking IL-12 develop GVHD. We established that tissue damage signals are perceived directly by donor CD4+ T cells and promoted T cell expansion and differentiation. Specifically, the fibroblastic reticular cell-derived DAMP IL-33 is increased by recipient conditioning and is critical for the initial activation, proliferation, and differentiation of alloreactive Th1 cells. IL-33 stimulation of CD4+ T cells was not required for lymphopenia-induced expansion, however. IL-33 promoted IL-12-independent expression of Tbet and generation of Th1 cells that infiltrated GVHD target tissues. Mechanistically, IL-33 augmented CD4+ T cell TCR-associated signaling pathways in response to alloantigen. This enhanced T cell expansion and Th1 polarization, but inhibited the expression of regulatory molecules such as IL-10 and Foxp3. These data establish an unappreciated role for IL-33 as a costimulatory signal for donor Th1 generation after alloHCT. 10.1172/JCI150927
    Graft-versus-host disease: establishing IL-33 as an important costimulatory molecule. The Journal of clinical investigation Approximately half of patients with hematologic malignancy who are treated with allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (alloHCT) experience graft-versus-host disease (GVHD), which has high mortality rates despite immunosuppressive therapy. IL-12 is known to drive donor T cells toward an inflammatory Th1 lineage in GVHD, but other mechanisms also promote pathological Th1 alloimmune responses. In this issue of the JCI, Dwyer et al. report on their use of transgenic mice and alloHCT models of GVHD to demonstrate that IL-33 acts directly on donor T cells to increase Tbet expression independently of IL-12. Notably, IL-33 amplified T cell receptor-signaling pathways and inhibited production of regulatory molecules. These findings firmly establish IL-33 as an important costimulatory molecule for Th1 cells during GVHD and provide a target for reducing GVHD, especially in the gastrointestinal (GI) tract, where damage drives mortality. 10.1172/JCI160692