Author(s): Tzima S, Victoratos P, Kranidioti K, Alexiou M, Kollias G
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Abstract Heme oxygenase-1 (HO-1) is a key cytoprotective, antioxidant, and antiinflammatory molecule. The pathophysiological functions of HO-1 have been associated with its enzymatic activities in heme catabolism. We have examined the immune functions of HO-1 by its conditional ablation in myeloid cells (HO-1(M-KO) mice). We demonstrate that myeloid HO-1 is required for the activation of interferon (IFN) regulatory factor (IRF) 3 after Toll-like receptor 3 or 4 stimulation, or viral infection. HO-1-deficient macrophages show reduced expression of IFN-beta and of primary IRF3 target genes encoding RANTES, IP-10 and MCP-1. In the presence of polyI:C, myeloid HO-1 knockout mice infected with Listeria monocytogenes, a model dependent on IFN-beta production, showed enhanced bacterial clearance and survival, whereas control mice succumbed to infection. Moreover, after induction of experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis, mice with myeloid-specific HO-1 deficiency developed a higher incidence and an exacerbated, nonremitting clinical disease correlating with persistent activation of antigen-presenting cells, enhanced infiltration of Th17 cells, and a nonregressing myelin-specific T cell reactivity. Notably, these defects were rectified by exogenous administration of IFN-beta, confirming that HO-1 functions directly upstream of this critical immune pathway. These results uncover a novel direct function for myeloid HO-1 in the regulation of IFN-beta production, establishing HO-1 as a critical early mediator of the innate immune response.
This article was published in J Exp Med
and referenced in Journal of Clinical & Cellular Immunology