IL-25 prevents and cures fulminant hepatitis in mice through a myeloid-derived suppressor cell-dependent mechanism


  • Potential conflict of interest: Nothing to report.

Address reprint requests to: Giovanni Monteleone, M.D., Ph.D., Dipartimento di Medicina dei Sistemi, Università Tor Vergata, Via Montpellier 1, 00133 Rome, Italy. E-mail:; fax: +39-06-72596391.


Fulminant hepatitis (FH) is a disease characterized by massive destruction of hepatocytes with severe impairment of liver function. The pathogenesis of FH is not fully understood, but hyperactivity of T cells and macrophages with excessive production of cytokines are important hallmarks of the condition. In this study, we investigated the role of interleukin (IL)−25 in FH. IL-25 expression was evaluated in patients with FH and in livers of mice with FH induced by D-galactosamine (D-Gal) and lipopolysaccharide (LPS). Mice were treated with IL-25 before D-Gal/LPS-induced FH and before or after concanavalin A (ConA)-induced FH. Mononuclear cells were isolated from livers of mice treated with or without IL-25 and analyzed for GR1+CD11b+ cells. CFSE-labeled T cells were cocultured with GR1+CD11b+ cells and their proliferation was evaluated by flow cytometry. Mice were also treated with a depleting anti-GR1 antibody before IL-25 and D-Gal/LPS administration. IL-25 was constitutively expressed in mouse and human liver and down-regulated during FH. IL-25 prevented D-Gal/LPS-induced FH and this effect was associated with increased infiltration of the liver with cells coexpressing GR1 and CD11b. In vitro studies showed that GR1+CD11b+ cells isolated from mice given IL-25 inhibited T-cell proliferation. Consistently, in vivo depletion of GR1+ cells abrogated the protective effect of IL-25 in experimental D-Gal/LPS-induced FH. IL-25 was both preventive and therapeutic in ConA-induced FH. Conclusions: IL-25 expression is markedly reduced during human and experimental FH. IL-25 promotes liver accumulation of GR1+CD11b+cells with immunoregulatory properties. (Hepatology 2013;58:1436–1450)