Leading science, pioneering therapies
CRM Publications

Arterial inflammation in mice lacking the interleukin 1 receptor antagonist gene.

TitleArterial inflammation in mice lacking the interleukin 1 receptor antagonist gene.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2000
AuthorsNicklin MJ, Hughes DE, Barton JL, Ure JM, Duff GW
JournalJ Exp Med
Date Published2000 Jan 17
KeywordsAge of Onset, Alleles, Animals, Arteritis, B-Lymphocytes, CD4-Positive T-Lymphocytes, CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes, Female, Humans, Interleukin 1 Receptor Antagonist Protein, Longevity, Male, Mice, Mice, Inbred C57BL, Mice, Knockout, Receptors, Interleukin-1, Sialoglycoproteins

Branch points and flexures in the high pressure arterial system have long been recognized as sites of unusually high turbulence and consequent stress in humans are foci for atherosclerotic lesions. We show that mice that are homozygous for a null mutation in the gene encoding an endogenous antiinflammatory cytokine, interleukin 1 receptor antagonist (IL-1ra), develop lethal arterial inflammation involving branch points and flexures of the aorta and its primary and secondary branches. We observe massive transmural infiltration of neutrophils, macrophages, and CD4(+) T cells. Animals appear to die from vessel wall collapse, stenosis, and organ infarction or from hemorrhage from ruptured aneurysms. Heterozygotes do not die from arteritis within a year of birth but do develop small lesions, which suggests that a reduced level of IL-1ra is insufficient to fully control inflammation in arteries. Our results demonstrate a surprisingly specific role for IL-1ra in the control of spontaneous inflammation in constitutively stressed artery walls, suggesting that expression of IL-1 is likely to have a significant role in signaling artery wall damage.

Alternate JournalJ. Exp. Med.
PubMed ID10637274
PubMed Central IDPMC2195758