The interleukin-33 (IL-33)/suppression of tumorigenicity 2 (ST2) pathway modulates immune response and inflammation, associated with allograft dysfunction and rejection. We hypothesized that IL-33/ST2 is a marker of renal allograft rejection and IL-33/ST2 expression may differ according to rejection type. IL-33/ST2 expression was measured in sera and kidney tissues from recipients with acute antibody-mediated rejection (AAMR), acute cell-mediated rejection (ACMR), chronic antibody-mediated rejection (CAMR), and healthy controls. The soluble ST2 and IL-33/ST2 expression levels were higher in participants with all three rejection types than in controls. Although the expression levels in recipients with AAMR and ACMR were significantly higher than those with CAMR, there was no significant difference between the expression levels in AAMR and ACMR. Although IL-33, IL-8, and fibronectin expression were significantly increased after the addition of the recipients’ serum in primary cultured human renal proximal tubular epithelial cells, the levels decreased after treatment with an anti-ST2 antibody. Furthermore, the anti-ST2 antibody specifically suppressed the upregulation of the mixed lymphocyte reaction. Boyden chamber assays demonstrated that anti-ST2 antibody abrogated chemotaxis induced by recombinant IL-33. Thus, IL-33 and ST2 are potent mediators of rejection. Treatment with an anti-ST2 antibody ameliorates rejection and could be a potential therapeutic strategy for renal allograft rejection.

Original languageEnglish
Article number112705
JournalExperimental Cell Research
Issue number2
StatePublished - 15 Aug 2021


  • Interleukin-33
  • Kidney transplantation
  • Rejection
  • Suppression of tumorigenicity 2


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