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J Clin Invest. 2013 Mar;123(3):1176-81. doi: 10.1172/JCI65167. Epub 2013 Feb 1.

MFGE8 inhibits inflammasome-induced IL-1β production and limits postischemic cerebral injury.

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Division of Cardiovascular Medicine, University of Cambridge, Addenbrooke's Hospital, Cambridge, United Kingdom.


Milk fat globule-EGF 8 (MFGE8) plays important, nonredundant roles in several biological processes, including apoptotic cell clearance, angiogenesis, and adaptive immunity. Several recent studies have reported a potential role for MFGE8 in regulation of the innate immune response; however, the precise mechanisms underlying this role are poorly understood. Here, we show that MFGE8 is an endogenous inhibitor of inflammasome-induced IL-1β production. MFGE8 inhibited necrotic cell-induced and ATP-dependent IL-1β production by macrophages through mediation of integrin β(3) and P2X7 receptor interactions in primed cells. Itgb3 deficiency in macrophages abrogated the inhibitory effect of MFGE8 on ATP-induced IL-1β production. In a setting of postischemic cerebral injury in mice, MFGE8 deficiency was associated with enhanced IL-1β production and larger infarct size; the latter was abolished after treatment with IL-1 receptor antagonist. MFGE8 supplementation significantly dampened caspase-1 activation and IL-1β production and reduced infarct size in wild-type mice, but did not limit cerebral necrosis in Il1b-, Itgb3-, or P2rx7-deficient animals. In conclusion, we demonstrated that MFGE8 regulates innate immunity through inhibition of inflammasome-induced IL-1β production.

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