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J Immunol. 1997 Feb 15;158(4):1818-24.

Response to local inflammation of IL-1 beta-converting enzyme- deficient mice.

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  • 1Department of Medicine, Tufts University School of Medicine and New England Medical Center, Boston, MA 02111, USA.


IL-1 beta-converting enzyme (ICE) cleaves pro-IL-1 beta to the mature, released form. Although other proteases can process pro-IL-1 beta, ICE-deficient (ICE -/-) mice do not release mature IL-1 beta in response to endotoxin. The purpose of our study was to investigate the response of ICE -/- mice in two models of local inflammation, turpentine-induced tissue damage and zymosan-induced peritonitis. No differences were observed in the development of the systemic acute phase response after turpentine administration between wild-type and ICE -/- mice, but this response was completely impaired in IL-1 beta -/- mice. Accordingly, the levels of mature IL-1 beta produced in response to turpentine did not differ between wild-type and ICE -/- mice. In contrast, following zymosan-induced peritonitis, the levels of mature IL-1 beta were significantly lower in ICE -/- mice. This was associated with a 50% decrease in cellular infiltrate in ICE -/- mice compared with that in wild-type controls. The reduced production of zymosan-induced mature IL-1 beta in ICE -/- mice was also observed from cultured peritoneal or spleen cells. Our results demonstrate that in turpentine-induced tissue necrosis, precursor IL-1 beta is processed by non-ICE proteases, but in complement-mediated inflammation, ICE participates in the processing of the IL-1 beta precursor.

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