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Am J Physiol Lung Cell Mol Physiol. 2002 Feb;282(2):L285-90.

Role of interleukin-1 in the pulmonary immune response during Pseudomonas aeruginosa pneumonia.

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Department of Experimental Internal Medicine, Tropical Medicine, and AIDS, Academic Medical Center of Amsterdam, 1105 AZ Amsterdam, The Netherlands.


Pneumonia is associated with elevated concentrations of the proinflammatory cytokine interleukin (IL)-1 in the pulmonary compartment. To study the role of IL-1 in the pathogenesis of Pseudomonas pneumonia, IL-1 receptor type 1 gene-deficient (IL-1R -/-) mice and wild-type mice were intranasally inoculated with Pseudomonas aeruginosa. The absence of the IL-1 signal attenuated the outgrowth of Pseudomonas in lungs, as reflected by an increasing number of colony-forming units (cfu) during Pseudomonas pneumonia in wild-type mice and a concurrently decreasing number of cfu during pulmonary infection in IL-1R -/- mice (P < 0.05, IL-1R -/- mice vs. wild-type mice). Influx of neutrophils was decreased in bronchoalveolar lavage fluids in IL-1R -/- mice compared with wild-type mice. Similarly, lung levels of cytokines (tumor necrosis factor-alpha, IL-6) and chemokines (macrophage inflammatory protein-2 and KC) were lower in IL-1R -/- mice 24 h postinoculation. Consistent with results obtained in IL-1R -/- mice, treatment of wild-type mice with IL-1R antagonist also diminished outgrowth of Pseudomonas when compared with wild-type mice treated with vehicle (P < 0.05). These results demonstrate that an absence or reduction in endogenous IL-1 activity improves host defense against Pseudomonas pneumonia while suppressing the inflammatory response.

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