Interleukin (IL)-37 is a member of the IL-1 family of cytokines. Although its broad anti-inflammatory properties are well described, the effects of IL-37 on inflammasome function remain poorly understood. Performing gene expression analyses, ASC oligomerization/speck assays and caspase-1 assays in bone marrow-derived macrophages (BMDM), and employing an in vivo endotoxemia model, we studied how IL-37 affects the expression and maturation of IL-1β and IL-18, inflammasome activation, and pyroptosis in detail. IL-37 inhibited IL-1β production by NLRP3 and AIM2 inflammasomes, and IL-18 production by the NLRP3 inflammasome. This inhibition was partially attributable to effects on gene expression: whereas IL-37 did not affect lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-induced mRNA expression of Il18 or inflammasome components, IL-37-transgenic BMDM displayed an up to 83% inhibition of baseline and LPS-stimulated Il1b compared to their wild-type counterparts. Importantly, we observed that IL-37 suppresses nigericin- and silica-induced ASC oligomerization/speck formation (a step in inflammasome activation and subsequent caspase-1 activation), and pyroptosis (-50%). In mice subjected to endotoxemia, IL-37 inhibited plasma IL-1β (-78% compared to wild-type animals) and IL-18 (-61%). Thus, our study adds suppression of inflammasome activity to the portfolio of anti-inflammatory pathways employed by IL-37, highlighting this cytokine as a potential tool for treating inflammasome-driven diseases.
- interleukin 18
- interleukin 1β
- interleukin 37
Trevor Wilson (Manager)Hudson Institute - Department of Molecular and Translational Science
Stephen Firth (Manager), Alex Fulcher (Operator), Oleks Chernyavskiy (Operator), Margaret Rzeszutek (Other), David Potter (Manager), Volker Hilsenstein (Operator), Juan Nunez-Iglesias (Other), Stephen Cody (Manager), Irena Carmichael (Operator), Betty Kouskousis (Other), Sarah Creed (Manager) & Giulia Ballerin (Operator)Faculty of Medicine Nursing and Health Sciences Research Platforms