Caspases are key regulators of inflammatory and innate immune responses mediated by TLR3in vivo

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HIGHLIGHTSActivation of TLR3 in vivo induced expression of key inflammatory cytokines and engaged cell death pathways through activation of caspase-8 and caspase-3.Pre-treatment with a pan caspase inhibitor prior to innate immune challenging negatively regulated TLR3-induced gene expression and cytokine production.Pan caspase inhibition in vivo can control exaggerated innate anti-microbial immune defence.Understanding the key regulators which impact the innate immune response during initial phases of tissue injury, can advance the use of therapeutic approaches which aim at attenuating inflammation and organ damage. Recognition of microbial components by TLRs, initiates the transcription of innate immune signal pathways, that induce the expression of key inflammatory mediators: cytokines, chemokines and adhesion molecules. Beside regulating apoptotic cell death, recent studies have revealed distinct roles for caspases in the optimal production of inflammatory cytokines and host defense against injurious infections. Whether caspases can play an immune regulatory role in vivo has not been sufficiently investigated. This study aims to explore whether the pan caspase inhibitor z-VAD-fmk can control inflammation and cytokine production subsequent to challenging the innate immunity of the exocrine secretory tissues in vivo. Submandibular glands (SMGs) of the C57BL/6 mice were challenged with the TLR3 stimulant: polyinosinic-polycytidylic acid (poly (I:C)). Results obtained from the current study provide evidence that caspases can control immune responses downstream of TLR3 ligation. The present work proposes a novel mechanism that can prevent overactivation of the innate immunity, which typically leads to fatal immune disorders.

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