Type I interferon signalling is not required for the induction of endotoxin tolerance

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Endotoxin, or LPS tolerance, is an immunomodulatory mechanism that results in a significantly diminished response to secondary LPS exposure, which may serve to protect the host against endotoxic shock. Type I interferons (IFNs) are cytokines released upon LPS binding to TLR4 and have been shown to have immunomodulatory properties. Due to this regulatory function of type I IFN, we aimed to investigate the role of type I IFN signalling in LPS tolerance. Our data suggests that type I IFN does not play a role in LPS tolerance in vitro, as both wild type and IFNAR1−/− peritoneal macrophages showed reduced cytokine production after secondary LPS exposure. Furthermore, both wild type and IFNAR1−/− mice were protected from a lethal dose of LPS after receiving three small doses to induce tolerance. However, IFNAR−/− mice seemed to recover faster than wild type mice, suggesting type I IFN signalling plays a detrimental role in LPS-induced sepsis. Although type I IFN may have a regulatory function in microbial infections, it does not seem to play a role in endotoxin tolerance. Type I IFN involvement in bacterial infection remains complex and further studies are needed to define the regulatory function of type I IFN signalling.

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