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Cytokine. 1996 Jun;8(6):460-7.

Multifactorial induction of gene expression and nuclear localization of mouse interleukin 1 alpha.

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Institute of Physiology, Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic, Prague, Czech Republic.


We have studied mouse brown adipose tissue (BAT) which was shown to contain high levels of mRNA for IL-1 alpha and IL-1 receptor. We found high contents of both the 31 kDa precursor and the 18 kDa mature form of IL-1 alpha proteins in BAT when compared with brain, lymph nodes and spleen. Both forms of IL-1 alpha were also present in primary cultures of BAT. The IL-1 alpha subcellular localization revealed the predominant nuclear association of both precursor and mature form of IL-1 alpha which accounted for 48% of total cellular IL-1 alpha in BAT and a similar subcellular distribution was found in spleen. The specific content of IL-1 alpha found in nuclei purified from BAT or from cultured brown adipocytes was 6-47-fold higher than in other cellular fractions. Nuclear IL-1 alpha was increased by addition of 10% fetal calf serum to cultured adipocytes previously depleted of the serum. The expression of the IL-1A gene in cultured brown adipocytes was increased 6-8-fold by IL-1 beta, TNF-alpha, LPS and by noradrenaline. The stimulation with all four agents, resulted in a rapid burst of IL-1 alpha mRNA level after 15-30 min. The highest stimulation was found in differentiated, preconfluent adipocytes cultured for 6 days. The results suggest an important regulatory role of IL-1 alpha in brown adipocytes. The rapid responses of IL-1A gene expression to multifactorial stimulation and pronounced nuclear localization of IL-1 alpha proteins further support the existence of a hypothetical nuclear function of IL-1 alpha.

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