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J Immunol. 2001 Feb 15;166(4):2651-7.

Lipopolysaccharide-induced IL-18 secretion from murine Kupffer cells independently of myeloid differentiation factor 88 that is critically involved in induction of production of IL-12 and IL-1beta.

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  • 1First Department of Surgery, Department of Immunology & Medical Zoology, Department of Otolaryngology, Institute for Advanced Medical Sciences, Hyogo College of Medicine, Nishinomiya, Japan.


IL-18, produced as biologically inactive precursor, is secreted from LPS-stimulated macrophages after cleavage by caspase-1. In this study, we investigated the mechanism underlying caspase-1-mediated IL-18 secretion. Kupffer cells constantly stored IL-18 and constitutively expressed caspase-1. Inhibition of new protein synthesis only slightly reduced IL-18 secretion, while it decreased and abrogated their IL-1beta and IL-12 secretion, respectively. Kupffer cells deficient in Toll-like receptor (TLR) 4, an LPS-signaling receptor, did not secrete IL-18, IL-1beta, and IL-12 upon LPS stimulation. In contrast, Kupffer cells lacking myeloid differentiation factor 88 (MyD88), an adaptor molecule for TLR-mediated-signaling, secreted IL-18 without IL-1beta and IL-12 production in a caspase-1-dependent and de novo synthesis-independent manner. These results indicate that MyD88 is essential for IL-12 and IL-1beta production from Kupffer cells while their IL-18 secretion is mediated via activation of endogenous caspase-1 without de novo protein synthesis in a MyD88-independent fashion after stimulation with LPS. In addition, infection with Listeria monocytogenes, products of which have the capacity to activate TLR, increased serum levels of IL-18 in wild-type and MyD88-deficient mice but not in caspase-1-deficient mice, whereas it induced elevation of serum levels of IL-12 in both wild-type and caspase-1-deficient mice but not in MyD88-deficient mice. Taken together, these results suggested caspase-1-dependent, MyD88-independent IL-18 release in bacterial infection.

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