IL-1R1/MyD88 signaling is critical for elastase-induced lung inflammation and emphysema

Isabelle Couillin, Virginie Vasseur, Sabine Charron, Pamela Gasse, Marie Tavernier, Julien Guillet, Vincent Lagente, Lizette Fick, Muazzam Jacobs, Fernando Rodrigues Coelho, René Moser, Bernhard Ryffel
Journal of Immunology 2009 December 15, 183 (12): 8195-202
Lung emphysema and fibrosis are severe complications of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and uncontrolled protease activation may be involved in the pathogenesis. Using experimental elastase-induced acute inflammation, we demonstrate here that inflammation and development of emphysema is IL-1R1 and Toll/IL-1R signal transduction adaptor MyD88 dependent; however, TLR recognition is dispensable in this model. Elastase induces IL-1beta, TNF-alpha, keratinocyte-derived chemokine, and IL-6 secretion and neutrophil recruitment in the lung, which is drastically reduced in the absence of IL-1R1 or MyD88. Further, tissue destruction with emphysema and fibrosis is attenuated in the lungs of IL-1R1- and MyD88-deficient mice. Specific blockade of IL-1 by IL-1R antagonist diminishes acute inflammation and emphysema. Finally, IL-1beta production and inflammation are reduced in mice deficient for the NALP3 inflammasome component apoptosis-associated speck-like protein containing a caspase recruitment domain (ASC), and we identified uric acid, which is produced upon elastase-induced lung injury, as an activator of the NALP3/ASC inflammasome. In conclusion, elastase-mediated lung pathology depends on inflammasome activation with IL-1beta production. IL-1beta therefore represents a critical mediator and a possible therapeutic target of lung inflammation leading to emphysema.

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