Author(s): Koutoulaki A, Langley M, Sloan AJ, Aeschlimann D, Wei XQ
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Abstract Bacterial infections can lead to a state of uncontrolled inflammation and also trigger autoimmune disease. At the centre of this are CD4(+) T cell responses in inflammatory tissues or local lymph nodes which are orchestrated by dendritic cells. IL-18 is a pro-inflammatory cytokine that drives dendritic cell maturation and mediates IFNgamma production. In this study, we demonstrate that in the dendritic precursor-like cell line KG-1, IFNgamma production induced by IL-18 is potentiated (>5-fold) by TNFalpha and completely suppressed by TGF-beta1. IL-18 stimulation rapidly activates different MAPK signalling pathways but only blocking of p38 activation alleviates IFNgamma production. The mechanism through which TNFalpha enhances IL-18 induced IFNgamma production is by promoting IL-18 receptor alpha-chain expression which results in higher levels of p38 activation and induces expression of T-bet, a transcriptional regulator of the IFNG gene. In contrast, TGF-beta1 rapidly suppresses IFNgamma production by limiting IL-18 receptor numbers at the cell surface and preventing induction of T-bet expression. TGF-beta1 experience by cells leads to sustained long-term inactivation of TNFalpha/IL-18-mediated cell activation but not IL-18 induced p38 activation suggesting transcriptional silencing of the T-BET and/or IFNG promoter independent of MAPK signalling. These results demonstrate how IL-18 activity is regulated by pro and anti-inflammatory cytokines and thereby provide insight into the mechanism that controls dendritic cell activity and ultimately leads to resolution of an inflammatory response. Copyright 2009 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
This article was published in Cytokine
and referenced in Journal of Clinical & Cellular Immunology