Link to Pubmed [PMID] – 20007584
J. Immunol. 2009 Dec;183(12):8195-202
Lung emphysema and fibrosis are severe complications of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and uncontrolled protease activation may be involved in the pathogenesis. Using experimental elastase-induced acute inflammation, we demonstrate here that inflammation and development of emphysema is IL-1R1 and Toll/IL-1R signal transduction adaptor MyD88 dependent; however, TLR recognition is dispensable in this model. Elastase induces IL-1beta, TNF-alpha, keratinocyte-derived chemokine, and IL-6 secretion and neutrophil recruitment in the lung, which is drastically reduced in the absence of IL-1R1 or MyD88. Further, tissue destruction with emphysema and fibrosis is attenuated in the lungs of IL-1R1- and MyD88-deficient mice. Specific blockade of IL-1 by IL-1R antagonist diminishes acute inflammation and emphysema. Finally, IL-1beta production and inflammation are reduced in mice deficient for the NALP3 inflammasome component apoptosis-associated speck-like protein containing a caspase recruitment domain (ASC), and we identified uric acid, which is produced upon elastase-induced lung injury, as an activator of the NALP3/ASC inflammasome. In conclusion, elastase-mediated lung pathology depends on inflammasome activation with IL-1beta production. IL-1beta therefore represents a critical mediator and a possible therapeutic target of lung inflammation leading to emphysema.