Thursday, January 19, 2017

Production of IL-1β and Inflammasome with Up-Regulated Expressions of NOD-Like Receptor Related Genes in Toxoplasma gondii-Infected THP-1 Macrophages

 2016 Dec;54(6):711-717. doi: 10.3347/kjp.2016.54.6.711. Epub 2016 Dec 31.


Toxoplasma gondii is an obligate intracellular parasite that stimulates production of high levels of proinflammatory cytokines, which are important for innate immunity. NLRs, i.e., nucleotide-binding oligomerization domain (NOD)-like receptors, play a crucial role as innate immune sensors and form multiprotein complexes called inflammasomes, which mediate caspase-1-dependent processing of pro-IL-1β. To elucidate the role of inflammasome components in T. gondii-infected THP-1 macrophages, we examined inflammasome-related gene expression and mechanisms of inflammasome-regulated cytokine IL-1β secretion. The results revealed a significant upregulation of IL-1β after T. gondii infection. T. gondii infection also upregulated the expression of inflammasome sensors, including NLRP1, NLRP3, NLRC4, NLRP6, NLRP8, NLRP13, AIM2, and NAIP, in a time-dependent manner. The infection also upregulated inflammasome adaptor protein ASC and caspase-1 mRNA levels. From this study, we newly found that T. gondii infection regulates NLRC4, NLRP6, NLRP8, NLRP13, AIM2, and neuronal apoptosis inhibitor protein (NAIP) gene expressions in THP-1 macrophages and that the role of the inflammasome-related genes may be critical for mediating the innate immune responses to T. gondii infection.


THP-1 macrophage; Toxoplasma gondii; inflammasome; nucleotide-binding oligomerization domain (NOD)-like receptor (NLR); qRT-PCR

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