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Title: Mechanisms of induction and modulation of the pro-inflammatory cytokine interleukin-1beta
Author: Yip, Ronald H. N.
ISNI:       0000 0004 2744 690X
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2012
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Interleukin (IL)-1beta is a powerful pro-inflammatory cytokine with important roles in directing both innate and adaptive immunity. As a result, its production is tightly controlled, with the synthesis of an inactive form (pro-IL-1beta) and the requirement of a second signal. This induces the formation of the inflammasome, a macromolecular complex which mediates the maturation of IL-1beta into the bioactive cytokine. Given its significance, it is important to identify mechanisms of IL-1beta induction and modulation. Firstly, we describe serum amyloid A (SAA), an acute phase protein with immunomodulatory properties, as a novel inducer of IL-1beta. Using cells from genetically modified mice, the molecular mechanisms responsible were dissected, demonstrating the receptors TLR2 and NLRP3 as required for this effect. By instilling SAA into mice, we also show that SAA is able to induce IL-1beta production in vivo. Invariant natural killer T (iNKT) cells have also been shown to be important modulators of immunity, mediating both pro- and anti-inflammatory responses. iNKT cells are non-conventional T lymphocytes which recognise glycolipid in the context of CD1d, with the ability to interact with immature antigen presenting cells in an autoreactive manner. We link the regulatory ability of iNKT cells with IL-1beta production, showing that a low activation signal leads to the induction of an IL-13-dominated cytokine profile, as well as weak engagement of the CD40-CD40L pathway. We show for the first time that through these mechanisms, iNKT cells are able to dampen the secretion of IL-1beta upon subsequent stimulation of dendritic cells. We hypothesise that this effect of iNKT cells is important in controlling inflammatory responses in vivo, and demonstrate exacerbated IL-1beta production and inflammation during influenza virus infection of iNKT cell-deficient animals. This novel anti-inflammatory property of iNKT cells may be harnessed in the therapeutic intervention of inflammatory disorders.
Supervisor: Cerundolo, Vincenzo Sponsor: Wellcome Trust
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Life Sciences ; Biology ; Cell Biology (see also Plant sciences) ; Medical Sciences ; Infectious diseases ; Biology (medical sciences) ; Immunology ; Viruses ; Inflammasome ; Serum Amyloid A ; IL-1beta ; iNKT cells ; Influenza