Interleukin (IL)-33, a cytokine involved in immune responses, can activate its receptor, suppression of tumorigenicity 2 (ST2), is elevated during atrial fibrillation (AF). However, the role of IL-33/ST2 signaling in atrial arrhythmia is unclear. This study explored the pathological effects of the IL-33/ST2 axis on atrial remodeling and arrhythmogenesis. Patch clamping, confocal microscopy, and Western blotting were used to analyze the electrical characteristics of and protein activity in atrial myocytes (HL-1) treated with recombinant IL-33 protein and/or ST2-neutralizing antibodies for 48 hrs. Telemetric electrocardiographic recordings, Masson's trichrome staining, and immunohistochemistry staining of the atrium were performed in mice receiving tail vein injections with nonspecific immunoglobulin (control), IL-33, and IL-33 combined with anti-ST2 antibody for 2 weeks. IL-33-treated HL-1 cells had a reduced action potential duration, lower L-type Ca2+ current, greater sarcoplasmic reticulum (SR) Ca2+ content, increased Na+/Ca2+ exchanger (NCX) current, elevation of K+ currents, and increased intracellular calcium transient. IL-33-treated HL-1 myocytes had greater activation of the calcium–calmodulin-dependent protein kinase II (CaMKII)/ryanodine receptor 2 (RyR2) axis and nuclear factor kappa B (NF-κB) / NLR family pyrin domain containing 3 (NLRP3) signaling than did control cells. IL-33 treated cells also had greater expression of Nav1.5, Kv1.5, NCX, and NLRP3 than did control cells. Pretreatment with neutralizing anti-ST2 antibody attenuated IL-33-mediated activation of CaMKII/RyR2 and NF-κB/NLRP3 signaling. IL-33-injected mice had more atrial ectopic beats and increased AF episodes, greater atrial fibrosis, and elevation of NF-κB/NLRP3 signaling than did controls or mice treated with IL-33 combined with anti-ST2 antibody. Thus, IL-33 recombinant protein treatment promotes atrial remodeling through ST2 signaling. Blocking the IL-33/ST2 axis might be an innovative therapeutic approach for patients with atrial arrhythmia and elevated serum IL-33.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-12
Number of pages12
JournalTranslational Research
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2024


  • Atrial fibrillation (AF)
  • Calcium–calmodulin-dependent protein kinase II (CaMKII)
  • Interleukin-33 (IL-33)
  • Ryanodine receptor 2 (RyR2)
  • Suppression of tumorigenicity 2 (ST2)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Physiology (medical)
  • Biochemistry, medical


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