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Am J Reprod Immunol. 2008 Oct;60(4):361-71. doi: 10.1111/j.1600-0897.2008.00636.x.

LPS increases the expression levels of IL-18, ICE and IL-18 R in mouse testes.

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The Shraga Segal Department of Microbiology and immunology, Beer-Sheva, Israel.



This study examined the effect of intraperitoneal administration of lipopolysaccharide (LPS) to adult male mouse on the expression levels of interleukin-18 (IL-18), IL-18 receptor (IL-18R) and the IL-1beta converting enzyme (ICE) (IL-18 family) in their testes and spleen (control).


Adult mice were injected (intraperitoneally; i.p.) with saline (control) or LPS (2, 20, 100 microg/mL; 100 microL/mouse). After 3 and 24 hr, testes and spleen were collected. Testicular tissue was examined for IL-18 (by ELISA, real time PCR, and western blot analysis), IL-18R and ICE (western blot and real time PCR analysis) and spleen tissue was examined for the IL-18 family by real time PCR analysis. Student's t-test was used for statistical analysis.


Homogenates of mouse testes contain and express basal levels of IL-18, ICE and IL-18 R. The expression levels of IL-18, ICE and IL-18R were significantly increased 3 and 24 hr after intraperitoneal injection of LPS to mature mouse, as examined by ELISA, western blot and real time PCR analysis. However, the expression levels of IL-18, ICE and IL-18Ralpha in the spleen increased significantly only after 24 hr of LPS stimulation, as examined by real time PCR.


Our results demonstrate that LPS increases the expression levels of the IL-18 family in mouse testis and spleen, but the time of expression differs between the two organs. The presence of IL-18 in the testes might be involved in the regulation of physiological and infection/inflammatory processes, and may be part of the autocrine/paracrine factors that control spermatogenesis. Further studies should be performed to confirm this possibility.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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