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J Biol Chem. 1994 Mar 4;269(9):6962-71.

Rabbit interleukin-1 receptor antagonist. Cloning, expression, functional characterization, and regulation during intestinal inflammation.

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Department of Medicine, University of Southern California, School of Medicine, Los Angeles 90033.


Genomic and cDNA clones for rabbit interleukin-1 receptor antagonist (IL-1ra) were isolate based on homology with the human, mouse, and rat IL-1ra gene. A partial genomic clone, obtained by screening a rabbit genomic library, contained coding sequences for the carboxyl-terminal 108 amino acids of rabbit IL-1ra. Two classes of cDNA for rabbit IL-1ra were obtained using RNA from inflamed rabbit colon tissue. One class of cDNA coded for a secreted form of IL-1ra, whereas the other coded for a putative intracellular form of rabbit IL-1ra. The latter form is similar to that isolated from human epithelial cells. A partially synthetic rabbit IL-1ra gene was constructed and expressed in Escherichia coli. The recombinant rabbit IL-1ra was purified to homogeneity by ion exchange chromatography. Its affinity was similar to that of human IL-1ra for the human and mouse type I IL-1 receptor. From the cDNA clone and the purified recombinant protein, specific probes were developed for measuring levels of rabbit IL-1ra mRNA and protein in normal and inflamed rabbit tissues. Unlike IL-1 alpha and IL-1 beta, IL-1RA mRNA and protein were present at detectable levels in normal rabbit colon. During the development of an experimental formalin-immune complex colitis, rabbit IL-1 alpha showed a dramatic increase in tissue levels, consistent with previous results; IL-1ra also increased 3-4-fold. Treatment of colitis rabbits with corticosteroids significantly suppressed neutrophil infiltration, corticosteroid treatment suppressed IL-1ra but not IL-1 alpha mRNA steady-state levels. Our observations demonstrate that IL-1 and IL-1ra synthesis is differentially regulated in healthy and inflamed intestinal tissue.

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