Inflammatory cytokine of IL-1β is involved in T-2 toxin-triggered chondrocyte injury and metabolism imbalance by the activation of Wnt/β-catenin signaling

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Mycotoxin T-2 exerts a causative role in Kashin–Beck disease (KBD) suffering chondrocyte apoptosis and cartilage matrix homeostasis disruption. Recent research corroborated the aberrant levels of pro-inflammatory cytokine IL-1ß in KBD patients and mycotoxin environment. In the present study, we investigated the relevance of IL-1ß in T-2 toxin-evoked chondrocyte cytotoxic injury and aberrant catabolism. High levels of IL-1ß were detected in serum and cartilages from KBD patients and in T-2-stimulated chondrocytes. Moreover, knockdown of IL-1ß antagonized the adverse effects of T-2 on cytotoxic injury by enhancing cell viability and inhibiting apoptosis. However, exogenous supplementation of IL-1β further aggravated cell damage in response to T-2. Additionally, cessation of IL-1β rescued T-2-elicited tilt of matrix homeostasis toward catabolism by elevating the transcription of collagen II and aggrecan, promoting release of sulphated glycosaminoglycans (sGAG) and TIMP1, and suppressing matrix metalloproteinases production including MMP-1, MMP-3 and MMP-13. Conversely, IL-1β stimulation deteriorated T-2-induced disruption of matrix metabolism balance toward catabolism. Mechanistic analysis found the high activation of Wnt/β-catenin in KBD patients and chondrocytes upon T-2. Furthermore, this activation was mitigated after IL-1β inhibition, but further enhanced following IL-1β precondition. Importantly, blocking this pathway by transfection with β-catenin alleviated the adverse roles of IL-1β on cytotoxic injury and metabolism disorders under T-2 conditioning. Together, this study elucidates a new insight into how T-2 deteriorates the pathological progression of KBD by regulating inflammation-related pathways, indicating a promising anti-inflammation strategy for KBD therapy.

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