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IL-13 promotes recovery from C. difficile infection

By Alexandra N Donlan, Jhansi L Leslie, Morgan E Simpson, William A Petri, Judith E. Allen

Posted 04 Aug 2021
bioRxiv DOI: 10.1101/2021.08.03.454972

Clostridioides difficile infection (CDI) is the leading hospital-acquired infection in North America. We have previously discovered that antibiotic disruption of the gut microbiota decreases intestinal IL-33 and IL-25 and increases susceptibility to CDI. We further found that IL-33 promotes protection through type 2 Innate Lymphoid Cells (ILC2s), which produce IL-13. However, the contribution of IL-13 to disease has never been explored. We found that administration of IL-13 protected, and anti-IL-13 exacerbated CDI as measured by weight loss and clinical score, particularly during disease resolution. Additionally, concordant with IL-13 being important for M2 macrophage polarization, we saw a decrease in M2 macrophages (CD11B+CD64+CD206+) cells following neutralization of IL-13. We also observed monocyte accumulation as early as day three post-infection following IL-13 neutralization, suggesting IL-13 may be directly or indirectly important for their recruitment or transition into macrophages. Neutralization of the decoy receptor IL-13R2 resulted in protection from disease, likely through increased available endogenous IL-13. Our data highlight the protective role of IL-13 in promoting recovery from CDI and the association of poor responses with a dysregulated monocyte-macrophage compartment. These results increase our understanding of type 2 immunity in CDI and may have implications for treating disease in patients.

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