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Type I interferon-driven susceptibility to Mycobacterium tuberculosis is mediated by IL-1Ra.

  • Author(s): Ji, Daisy X
  • Yamashiro, Livia H
  • Chen, Katherine J
  • Mukaida, Naofumi
  • Kramnik, Igor
  • Darwin, K Heran
  • Vance, Russell E
  • et al.

The bacterium Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb) causes tuberculosis and is responsible for more human mortality than any other single pathogen1. Progression to active disease occurs in only a fraction of infected individuals and is predicted by an elevated type I interferon (IFN) response2-7. Whether or how IFNs mediate susceptibility to Mtb has been difficult to study due to a lack of suitable mouse models6-11. Here, we examined B6.Sst1S congenic mice that carry the 'susceptible' allele of the Sst1 locus that results in exacerbated Mtb disease12-14. We found that enhanced production of type I IFNs was responsible for the susceptibility of B6.Sst1S mice to Mtb. Type I IFNs affect the expression of hundreds of genes, several of which have previously been implicated in susceptibility to bacterial infections6,7,15-18. Nevertheless, we found that heterozygous deficiency in just a single IFN target gene, Il1rn, which encodes interleukin-1 receptor antagonist (IL-1Ra), is sufficient to reverse IFN-driven susceptibility to Mtb in B6.Sst1S mice. In addition, antibody-mediated neutralization of IL-1Ra provided therapeutic benefit to Mtb-infected B6.Sst1S mice. Our results illustrate the value of the B6.Sst1S mouse to model IFN-driven susceptibility to Mtb, and demonstrate that IL-1Ra is an important mediator of type I IFN-driven susceptibility to Mtb infections in vivo.

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