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J Infect Dis. 2013 Jan 1;207(1):50-60. doi: 10.1093/infdis/jis651. Epub 2012 Oct 24.

Interleukin-1 promotes coagulation, which is necessary for protective immunity in the lung against Streptococcus pneumoniae infection.

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Mucosal Immunology Section, Laboratory Science Division, International Vaccine Institute, Seoul 151-818, Korea.


Interleukin (IL)-1 is a well-known cytokine for the initiation of innate immunity in bacterial infection. However, the underlying mechanism of IL-1 on the respiratory infection is not fully elucidated. We studied how IL-1 contributes to the host defense against Streptococcus pneumoniae. IL-1R(-/-) mice showed high mortality, local cytokine storm, and substantial infiltrates in the lower respiratory tract after intratracheal challenge with S. pneumoniae. The IL-1-deficient condition did not suppress the propagation of bacteria in the lung, although the recruitment and the bacteria-killing ability of neutrophils (CD11b(+)Ly6C(+)Ly6G(+)) were not defective compared with wild-type mice. Unexpectedly, we found that the transcription of fibrinogen alpha and gamma genes were highly activated in the lungs of wild-type mice after the infection, whereas no significant changes were found in IL-1R(-/-) mice. Of note, synthesis of fibrinogen was dependent on the IL-1-IL-6-Stat3 cascade. Treatment with recombinant fibrinogen improved survival and bacterial propagation in the IL-1R(-/-) mice and blockade of the coagulation increased the susceptibility of wild-type mice to pneumococcal pneumonia. Our findings suggest that IL-1 signaling leads to the synthesis of fibrinogen in the lung after pneumococcus infection and is followed by coagulation, which contributes to the control of bacterial infection in the pulmonary tract.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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