Chronic inflammation and localized alterations in immune cell function are suspected to contribute to the progression of endometriosis and its associated symptoms. In particular, the alarmin IL-33 is elevated in the plasma, peritoneal fluid, and endometriotic lesions from patients with endometriosis; however, the exact role of IL-33 in the pathophysiology of endometriosis is not well understood. In this study, we demonstrate, in both humans and a murine model, that IL-33 contributes to the expansion of group 2 innate lymphoid cells (ILC2s), and this IL-33–induced ILC2 expansion modulates the endometriosis lesion microenvironment. Importantly, we show that IL-33 drives hallmarks of severe endometriosis, including elevated inflammation, lesion proliferation, and fibrosis, and that this IL-33–induced aggravation is mediated by ILC2s. Finally, we demonstrate the functionality of IL-33 neutralization as a promising and potentially novel therapeutic avenue for treating the debilitating symptoms of endometriosis.
Jessica E. Miller, Harshavardhan Lingegowda, Lindsey K. Symons, Olga Bougie, Steven L. Young, Bruce A. Lessey, Madhuri Koti, Chandrakant Tayade