Edukulla R, Singh B, Jegga AG, Sontake V, Dillon SR, Madala SK
Interleukin 31 receptor α (IL-31RA) is a novel Type I cytokine receptor that pairs with oncostatin M receptor to mediate IL-31 signaling. Binding of IL-31 to its receptor results in the phosphorylation and activation of STATs, MAPK, and JNK signaling pathways. IL-31 plays a pathogenic role in tissue inflammation, particularly in allergic diseases. Recent studies demonstrate IL-31RA expression and signaling in non-hematopoietic cells, but this receptor is poorly studied in immune cells. Macrophages are key immune-effector cells that play a critical role in Th2-cytokine-mediated allergic diseases. Here, we demonstrate that Th2 cytokines IL-4 and IL-13 are capable of up-regulating IL-31RA expression on both peritoneal and bone marrow-derived macrophages from mice. Our data also demonstrate that IL-4Rα-driven IL-31RA expression is STAT6 dependent in macrophages. Notably, the inflammation-associated genes Fizz1 and serum amyloid A (SAA) are significantly up-regulated in M2 macrophages stimulated with IL-31, but not in IL-4 receptor-deficient macrophages. Furthermore, the absence of Type II IL-4 receptor signaling is sufficient to attenuate the expression of IL-31RA in vivo during allergic asthma induced by soluble egg antigen, which may suggest a role for IL-31 signaling in Th2 cytokine-driven inflammation and allergic responses. Our study reveals an important counter-regulatory role between Th2 cytokine and IL-31 signaling involved in allergic diseases.