Link to Pubmed [PMID] – 22323544
Link to DOI – 10.4049/jimmunol.1101987
J Immunol 2012 Mar; 188(6): 2805-14
Leptospira interrogans is responsible for a zoonotic disease known to induce severe kidney dysfunction and inflammation. In this work, we demonstrate that L. interrogans induces NLRP3 inflammasome-dependent secretion of IL-1β through the alteration of potassium transport in bone marrow-derived macrophages. Lysosome destabilization also contributed to the IL-1β production upon stimulation with live, but not dead, bacteria. Using bone marrow-derived macrophages from various TLRs and nucleotide-binding oligomerization domain-deficient mice, we further determined that IL-1β production was dependent on TLR2 and TLR4, suggesting a participation of the leptospiral LPS to this process. Hypokaliemia in leptospirosis has been linked to the presence of glycolipoprotein, a cell wall component of L. interrogans that is known to inhibit the expression and functions of the Na/K-ATPase pump. We show in this study that glycolipoprotein activates the inflammasome and synergizes with leptospiral LPS to produce IL-1β, mimicking the effect of whole bacteria. These results were confirmed in vivo, as wild-type mice expressed more IL-1β in the kidney than TLR2/4-deficient mice 3 d postinfection with L. interrogans. Collectively, these findings provide the first characterization, to our knowledge, of bacteria-induced activation of the NLRP3 inflammasome through the downregulation of a specific host potassium transporter.