Inflammasome-independent modulation of cytokine response by autophagy in human cells
SourcePLoS One, 6, 4, (2011), article e18666
Article / Letter to editor
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SubjectN4i 1: Pathogenesis and modulation of inflammation NCMLS 1: Infection and autoimmunity
Autophagy is a cell housekeeping mechanism that has recently received attention in relation to its effects on the immune response. Genetic studies have identified candidate loci for Crohn's disease susceptibility among autophagy genes, while experiments in murine macrophages from ATG16L1 deficient mice have shown that disruption of autophagy increases processing of IL-1beta and IL-18 through an inflammasome-dependent manner. Using complementary approaches either inducing or inhibiting autophagy, we describe modulatory effects of autophagy on proinflammatory cytokine production in human cells. Inhibition of basal autophagy in human peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) significantly enhances IL-1beta after stimulation with TLR2 or TLR4 ligands, while at the same time reducing the production of TNFalpha. In line with this, induction of autophagy by starvation inhibited IL-1beta production. These effects of autophagy were not exerted at the processing step, as inflammasome activation was not influenced. In contrast, the effect of autophagy on cytokine production was on transcription level, and possibly involving the inhibition of p38 mitogen activated protein kinase (MAPK) phosphorylation. In conclusion, autophagy modulates the secretion of proinflammatory cytokines in human cells through an inflammasome-independent pathway, and this is a novel mechanism that may be targeted in inflammatory diseases.
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