Pyrin Levels in Human Monocytes and Monocyte-Derived Macrophages Regulate Il-1 Processing and Release

Seshadri, S.; Duncan, M.D.; Hart, J.M.; Gavrilin, M.A.; Wewers, M.D.

The Journal of Immunology 179(2): 1274-1281


DOI: 10.4049/jimmunol.179.2.1274
Accession: 068490701

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Macrophages and their precursors, monocytes, are key cells involved in the innate immune response. Although both monocytes and macrophages produce caspase-1, the key enzyme responsible for pro-IL-1beta processing; macrophages are limited in their ability to activate the enzyme and release functional IL-1beta. In this context, because mutations in the pyrin gene (MEFV) cause the inflammatory disorder familial Mediterranean fever, pyrin is believed to regulate IL-1beta processing. To determine whether variations in pyrin expression explain the difference between monocytes and macrophages in IL-1beta processing and release, pyrin was studied in human monocytes and monocyte-derived macrophages. Although monocytes express pyrin mRNA and protein, which is readily inducible by endotoxin, monocyte-derived macrophages express significantly less pyrin mRNA and protein. Pyrin levels directly correlated with IL-1beta processing in monocytes and macrophages; therefore, we asked whether pyrin might promote IL-1beta processing and release. HEK293 cells were transfected with pyrin, caspase-1, apoptotic speck protein with a caspase recruitment domain, and IL-1beta. Pyrin induced IL-1beta processing and release in a dose-dependent manner. Conversely, pyrin small interference RNA suppressed pro-IL-1beta processing in both THP-1 cells and fresh human monocytes. In summary, both pyrin expression and IL-1beta processing and release are diminished upon the maturation of monocytes to macrophages. When pyrin is ectopically expressed or silenced, IL-1beta processing and release parallels the level of pyrin. In conclusion, in the context of endotoxin-induced activation of mononuclear phagocytes, pyrin augments IL-1beta processing and release.