Soluble ST2 regulation by rhinovirus and 25(OH)-vitamin D3 in the blood of asthmatic children

P. Haag, H. Sharma, M. Rauh, T. Zimmermann, T. Vuorinen, N. G. Papadopoulos, S. T. Weiss, S. Finotto

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Paediatric asthma exacerbations are often caused by rhinovirus (RV). Moreover, 25(OH)-vitamin D3 (VitD3) deficiency during infancy was found associated with asthma. Here, we investigated the innate immune responses to RV and their possible modulation by 25(OH)-VitD3 serum levels in a preschool cohort of children with and without asthma. The innate lymphoid cell type 2 (ILC2)-associated marker, ST2, was found up-regulated in the blood cells of asthmatic children with low serum levels of 25(OH)-VitD3 in the absence of RV in their airways. Furthermore, in blood cells from control and asthmatic children with RV in their airways, soluble (s) ST2 (sST2) protein was found reduced. Asthmatic children with low 25(OH)-VitD3 in serum and with RV in vivo in their airways at the time of the analysis had the lowest sST2 protein levels in the peripheral blood compared to control children without RV and high levels of 25(OH)-VitD3. Amphiregulin (AREG), another ILC2-associated marker, was found induced in the control children with RV in their airways and low serum levels of 25(OH)-VitD3. In conclusion, the anti-inflammatory soluble form of ST2, also known as sST2, in serum correlated directly with interleukin (IL)-33 in the airways of asthmatic children. Furthermore, RV colonization in the airways and low serum levels of 25(OH)-VitD3 were found to be associated with down-regulation of sST2 in serum in paediatric asthma. These data indicate a counter-regulatory role of 25(OH)-VitD3 on RV-induced down-regulation of serum sST2 in paediatric asthma, which is relevant for the therapy of this disease.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)207-220
Number of pages14
JournalClinical and experimental immunology
Issue number2
Early online date12 Apr 2018
Publication statusPublished - 31 May 2018


  • amphiregulin (AREG)
  • ILC2
  • paediatric asthma
  • rhinovirus
  • vitamin D3

Research Beacons, Institutes and Platforms

  • Lydia Becker Institute


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