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      Arterial Inflammation in Mice Lacking the Interleukin 1 Receptor Antagonist Gene

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          Branch points and flexures in the high pressure arterial system have long been recognized as sites of unusually high turbulence and consequent stress in humans are foci for atherosclerotic lesions. We show that mice that are homozygous for a null mutation in the gene encoding an endogenous antiinflammatory cytokine, interleukin 1 receptor antagonist (IL-1ra), develop lethal arterial inflammation involving branch points and flexures of the aorta and its primary and secondary branches. We observe massive transmural infiltration of neutrophils, macrophages, and CD4 + T cells. Animals appear to die from vessel wall collapse, stenosis, and organ infarction or from hemorrhage from ruptured aneurysms. Heterozygotes do not die from arteritis within a year of birth but do develop small lesions, which suggests that a reduced level of IL-1ra is insufficient to fully control inflammation in arteries. Our results demonstrate a surprisingly specific role for IL-1ra in the control of spontaneous inflammation in constitutively stressed artery walls, suggesting that expression of IL-1 is likely to have a significant role in signaling artery wall damage.

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          Most cited references 33

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          Production of Mice Deficient in Genes for Interleukin (IL)-1α, IL-1β, IL-1α/β, and IL-1 Receptor Antagonist Shows that IL-1β Is Crucial in Turpentine-induced Fever Development and Glucocorticoid Secretion

          Interleukin (IL)-1 is a major mediator of inflammation and exerts pleiotropic effects on the neuro-immuno-endocrine system. To elucidate pathophysiological roles of IL-1, we have first produced IL-1α/β doubly deficient (KO) mice together with mice deficient in either the IL-1α, IL-1β, or IL-1 receptor antagonist (IL-1ra) genes. These mice were born healthy, and their growth was normal except for IL-1ra KO mice, which showed growth retardation after weaning. Fever development upon injection with turpentine was suppressed in IL-1β as well as IL-1α/β KO mice, but not in IL-1α KO mice, whereas IL-1ra KO mice showed an elevated response. At this time, expression of IL-1β mRNA in the diencephalon decreased 1.5-fold in IL-1α KO mice, whereas expression of IL-1α mRNA decreased >30-fold in IL-1β KO mice, suggesting mutual induction between IL-1α and IL-1β. This mutual induction was also suggested in peritoneal macrophages stimulated with lipopolysaccharide in vitro. In IL-1β KO mice treated with turpentine, the induction of cyclooxygenase-2 (EC in the diencephalon was suppressed, whereas it was enhanced in IL-1ra KO mice. We also found that glucocorticoid induction 8 h after turpentine treatment was suppressed in IL-1β but not IL-1α KO mice. These observations suggest that IL-1β but not IL-1α is crucial in febrile and neuro-immuno-endocrine responses, and that this is because IL-1α expression in the brain is dependent on IL-1β. The importance of IL-1ra both in normal physiology and under stress is also suggested.
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            Primary structure and functional expression from complementary DNA of a human interleukin-1 receptor antagonist.

            Human monocytes induced with adherent IgG secrete an interleukin-1 receptor antagonist which could be important for the in vivo regulation of IL-1 activity. A complementary DNA for this molecule has been isolated from a human monocyte library. Analysis of monocyte RNA indicates that the gene is transcriptionally regulated. The sequence of the receptor antagonist indicates that it is structurally similar to IL-1 beta. Expression of the cDNA in Escherichia coli yields IL-1 receptor antagonist activity.
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              Phenotypic and functional characterization of mice that lack the type I receptor for IL-1.

              IL-1 alpha and IL-1 beta bind to receptors termed the type I and type II IL-1 receptors. The type I IL-1 receptor is responsible for specific signaling, while the type II IL-1 receptor functions as a nonsignaling decoy receptor. To determine the effect of a defect in IL-1-mediated signaling, mice have been produced with a genetically disrupted type I IL-1 receptor gene. Mice lacking type I IL-1 receptors are of normal vigor and exhibit no overt phenotype. B cells from type I IL-1R-/- mice activated in vitro with anti-IgM do not proliferate in response to IL-1, but do so in response to IL-4. Injection of murine IL-1 alpha does not induce detectable serum IL-6 levels in type I IL-1R-/- mice, but equivalent levels are produced in response to LPS. Type I IL-1R-/- mice have normal serum Ig levels and generate equivalent primary and secondary Ab responses as wild-type mice. In response to LPS, acute phase protein mRNA induction are equivalent in type I IL-1R-/- and wild-type mice. Type I IL-1R-/- mice do not differ from control mice in susceptibility to either a lethal challenge with D-galactosamine plus LPS or high dose LPS. Interestingly, ICE-/-/type I IL-1R-/- double mutant mice are resistant to high dose LPS. Type I IL-1R-/- mice backcrossed to the C57BL/6 background were as equally resistant as wild-type mice to Listeria monocytogenes.

                Author and article information

                J Exp Med
                The Journal of Experimental Medicine
                The Rockefeller University Press
                17 January 2000
                : 191
                : 2
                : 303-312
                [a ]Division of Molecular and Genetic Medicine, University of Sheffield, Royal Hallamshire Hospital, Sheffield S10 2JF, United Kingdom
                [b ]Division of Oncology and Cellular Pathology, University of Sheffield, Royal Hallamshire Hospital, Sheffield S10 2JF, United Kingdom
                [c ]Gene Targeting Laboratory, Centre for Genome Research, University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh EH9 3JQ, United Kingdom
                © 2000 The Rockefeller University Press
                Original Article


                chronic disease, vasculitis, aorta, arteritis, interleukin 1


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