Despite IL-9 functioning as a pleiotropic cytokine in mucosal environments, the IL-9–responsive cell repertoire is still not well defined. Here, we found that IL-9 mediates proallergic activities in the lungs by targeting lung macrophages. IL-9 inhibits alveolar macrophage expansion and promotes recruitment of monocytes that develop into CD11c+ and CD11c− interstitial macrophage populations. Interstitial macrophages were required for IL-9–dependent allergic responses. Mechanistically, IL-9 affected the function of lung macrophages by inducing Arg1 activity. Compared with Arg1-deficient lung macrophages, Arg1-expressing macrophages expressed greater amounts of CCL5. Adoptive transfer of Arg1+ lung macrophages but not Arg1− lung macrophages promoted allergic inflammation that Il9r−/− mice were protected against. In parallel, the elevated expression of IL-9, IL-9R, Arg1, and CCL5 was correlated with disease in patients with asthma. Thus, our study uncovers an IL-9/macrophage/ Arg1 axis as a potential therapeutic target for allergic airway inflammation.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Immunology and Allergy