Journal of immunology (Baltimore, Md. : 1950)

Opposing Effects of IL-1Ra and IL-36Ra on Innate Immune Response to Pseudomonas aeruginosa Infection in C57BL/6 Mouse Corneas.

PMID 29891552


Pseudomonas aeruginosa keratitis is characterized by severe corneal ulceration and may lead to blindness if not treated properly in a timely manner. Although the roles of the IL-1 subfamily of cytokines are well established, as a newly discovered subfamily, IL-36 cytokine regulation, immunological relevance, and relation with IL-1 cytokines in host defense remain largely unknown. In this study, we showed that P. aeruginosa infection induces the expression of IL-36α and IL-36γ, as well as IL-1β and secreted IL-1Ra (sIL-1Ra), but not IL-36Ra. Downregulation of IL-1Ra increases, whereas downregulation of IL-36Ra decreases the severity of P. aeruginosa keratitis. IL-1R and IL-36Ra downregulation have opposing effects on the expression of IL-1β, sIL-1Ra, IL-36γ, S100A8, and CXCL10 and on the infiltration of innate immune cells. Administration of recombinant IL-1Ra improved, whereas IL-36Ra worsened the outcome of P. aeruginosa keratitis. Local application of IL-36γ stimulated the expression of innate defense molecules S100A9, mouse β-defensin 3, but suppressed IL-1β expression in B6 mouse corneas. IL-36γ diminished the severity of P. aeruginosa keratitis, and its protective effects were abolished in the presence of S100A9 neutralizing Ab and partially affected by CXCL10 and CXCR3 neutralizations. Thus, our data reveal that IL-1Ra and IL-36Ra have opposing effects on the outcome of P. aeruginosa keratitis and suggest that IL-36 agonists may be used as an alternative therapeutic to IL-1β-neutralizing reagents in controlling microbial keratitis and other mucosal infections.