JOURNAL ARTICLE

Production of IL-1β and Inflammasome with Up-Regulated Expressions of NOD-Like Receptor Related Genes in Toxoplasma gondii-Infected THP-1 Macrophages

Jia-Qi Chu, Ge Shi, Yi-Ming Fan, In-Wook Choi, Guang-Ho Cha, Yu Zhou, Young-Ha Lee, Juan-Hua Quan
Korean Journal of Parasitology 2016, 54 (6): 711-717
28095655
Toxoplasma gondii is an obligate intracellular parasite that stimulates production of high levels of proinflammatory cytokines, which are important for innate immunity. NLRs, i.e., nucleotide-binding oligomerization domain (NOD)-like receptors, play a crucial role as innate immune sensors and form multiprotein complexes called inflammasomes, which mediate caspase-1-dependent processing of pro-IL-1β. To elucidate the role of inflammasome components in T. gondii-infected THP-1 macrophages, we examined inflammasome-related gene expression and mechanisms of inflammasome-regulated cytokine IL-1β secretion. The results revealed a significant upregulation of IL-1β after T. gondii infection. T. gondii infection also upregulated the expression of inflammasome sensors, including NLRP1, NLRP3, NLRC4, NLRP6, NLRP8, NLRP13, AIM2, and NAIP, in a time-dependent manner. The infection also upregulated inflammasome adaptor protein ASC and caspase-1 mRNA levels. From this study, we newly found that T. gondii infection regulates NLRC4, NLRP6, NLRP8, NLRP13, AIM2, and neuronal apoptosis inhibitor protein (NAIP) gene expressions in THP-1 macrophages and that the role of the inflammasome-related genes may be critical for mediating the innate immune responses to T. gondii infection.

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