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J Immunol. 2007 Aug 1;179(3):1913-25.

Nonclassical IL-1 beta secretion stimulated by P2X7 receptors is dependent on inflammasome activation and correlated with exosome release in murine macrophages.

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Department of Pharmacology, Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine, Cleveland, OH 44120, USA.


Several mechanistically distinct models of nonclassical secretion, including exocytosis of secretory lysosomes, shedding of plasma membrane microvesicles, and direct efflux through plasma membrane transporters, have been proposed to explain the rapid export of caspase-1-processed IL-1 beta from monocytes/macrophages in response to activation of P2X7 receptors (P2X7R) by extracellular ATP. We compared the contribution of these mechanisms to P2X7R-stimulated IL-1 beta secretion in primary bone marrow-derived macrophages isolated from wild-type, P2X7R knockout, or apoptosis-associated speck-like protein containing a C-terminal CARD knockout mice. Our experiments revealed the following: 1) a novel correlation between IL-1 beta secretion and the release of the MHC-II membrane protein, which is a marker of plasma membranes, recycling endosomes, multivesicular bodies, and released exosomes; 2) a common and absolute requirement for inflammasome assembly and active caspase-1 in triggering the cotemporal export of IL-1 beta and MHC-II; and 3) mechanistic dissociation of IL-1 beta export from either secretory lysosome exocytosis or plasma membrane microvesicle shedding on the basis of different requirements for extracellular Ca(2+) and differential sensitivity to pharmacological agents that block activation of caspase-1 inflammasomes. Thus, neither secretory lysosome exocytosis nor microvesicle shedding models constitute the major pathways for nonclassical IL-1 beta secretion from ATP-stimulated murine macrophages. Our findings suggest an alternative model of IL-1 beta release that may involve the P2X7R-induced formation of multivesicular bodies that contain exosomes with entrapped IL-1 beta, caspase-1, and other inflammasome components.

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