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Mucosal Immunol. 2011 Jan;4(1):102-11. doi: 10.1038/mi.2010.57. Epub 2010 Sep 15.

TLR5 activation induces secretory interleukin-1 receptor antagonist (sIL-1Ra) and reduces inflammasome-associated tissue damage.

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Department of Pathology, Emory University School of Medicine, Atlanta, Georgia, USA.


Toll-like receptor-5 (TLR5)-mediated detection of flagellin induces nuclear factor (NF)-κB-mediated transcription of host defense gene expression, whereas recognition of intracellular flagellin by interleukin (IL)-1-converting enzyme protease-activation factor (IPAF) results in maturation/secretion of the inflammasome cytokine IL-1β. The potent effects of IL-1β are counter-regulated by secretory IL-1 receptor antagonist (sIL-1Ra). We studied the roles of flagellin receptors in regulating the expression of IL-1β and sIL-1Ra and their subsequent roles in inflammation. Flagellin induced sIL-1Ra in intestinal epithelia and macrophages in a dose- and time-dependent manner, whereas IL-1β was only induced in macrophages. In vivo, flagellin-induced sIL-1Ra, but not IL-1β, was absolutely dependent upon TLR5 expressed on non-hemopioetic cells. Thus, loss of TLR5 increased the IL-1β/sIL-1Ra ratio on flagellin treatment, which correlated with increased inflammatory pathology in response to this product. Furthermore, the flagellin/TLR5 interaction was important for the induction of sIL-1Ra and limiting inflammatory pathology on Salmonella infection. Finally, reduced sIL-1Ra levels in TLR5KO mice correlated with spontaneous colitis. Taken together, we demonstrate that intestinal epithelia, despite not expressing IL-1β, secrete sIL-1Ra in a TLR5-dependent manner suggesting that loss of TLR5 may promote inflammation by increasing IL-1β activity. Thus, optimizing the balance between inflammasome cytokines and their endogenous inhibitors might prove a useful strategy to treat inflammatory disorders.

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