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Interleukin-1beta deficiency results in reduced NF-kappaB levels in pregnant mice.

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  • 1Division of Infectious Diseases, University of Colorado Health Sciences Center, Denver, Colorado 80262, USA.


Interleukin (IL)-1beta-deficient (IL-1beta(-/-)) mice were assessed for cytokine production during pregnancy. A significant reduction in nuclear factor (NF)-kappaB p65 protein content was observed in the uteri and spleens of pregnant IL-1beta(-/-) mice, as demonstrated by immunohistochemistry and Western immunoblot analysis. In addition, electromobility gel shift assay revealed less DNA binding activity of NF-kappaB p65-containing complex in pregnant IL-1beta(-/-) mice. To investigate differences in cytokine production regulated by NF-kappaB, the levels of tumor necrosis factor-alpha, macrophage inflammatory protein-1alpha, and interferon-gamma were measured in the uterine wall, spleen homogenates, and spleen cell cultures obtained from pregnant mice. Endocervical administration of lipopolysaccharide (LPS) increased cytokine levels in both wild-type (IL-1beta(+/+)) and IL-1beta(-/-) animals, but in IL-1beta(-/-) mice this response was 50-75% lower. Splenocytes from nonpregnant mice exhibited decreased LPS-induced cytokine production when primed in vitro with progesterone. This suppression was 25% greater in IL-1beta(-/-) than in IL-1beta(+/+) mice. These data suggest that constitutive NF-kappaB p65 protein synthesis is regulated by IL-1beta, particularly during pregnancy.

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