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J Immunol. 2000 Jun 15;164(12):6576-82.

Prolonged elevation of IL-1 in Pseudomonas aeruginosa ocular infection regulates macrophage-inflammatory protein-2 production, polymorphonuclear neutrophil persistence, and corneal perforation.

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Department of Anatomy/Cell Biology, Wayne State University School of Medicine, Detroit, MI 48201, USA.


The kinetics of IL-1 (alpha and beta) production after Pseudomonas aeruginosa corneal infection was examined in susceptible (cornea perforates) C57BL/6J (B6) and resistant (cornea heals) BALB/cByJ (BALB/c) mice. IL-1alpha and -1beta (mRNA and protein) were elevated in both mouse strains, and levels peaked at 1 day postinfection (p.i. ). Significantly greater amounts of IL-1 protein were detected in B6 vs BALB/c mice at 1 and 3 days p.i. At 5 days p.i., IL-1alpha and -1beta (mRNA and protein) remained elevated in B6, but began to decline in BALB/c mice. To test the significance of elevated IL-1 in B6 mice, a polyclonal neutralizing Ab against IL-1beta was used to treat infected B6 mice. A combination of subconjunctival and i.p. administration of IL-1beta polyclonal Ab significantly reduced corneal disease. The reduction in disease severity in infected B6 mice was accompanied by a reduction in corneal polymorphonuclear neutrophil number, bacterial load, and macrophage inflammatory protein-2 mRNA and protein levels. These data provide evidence that IL-1 is an important contributor to P. aeruginosa corneal infection. At least one mechanism by which prolonged and/or elevated IL-1 expression contributes to irreversible corneal tissue destruction appears to be by increasing macrophage inflammatory protein-2 production, resulting in a prolonged stimulation of polymorphonuclear neutrophil influx into cornea. In contrast, a timely down-regulation of IL-1 appears consistent with an inflammatory response that is sufficient to clear the bacterial infection with less corneal damage.

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