Acute stress induces the rapid and transient induction of caspase-1, gasdermin D and release of constitutive IL-1β protein in dorsal hippocampus

Matthew G. Frank*, Michael V. Baratta, Kaixin Zhang, Isabella P. Fallon, Mikayleigh A. Pearson, Guozhen Liu, Mark R. Hutchinson, Linda R. Watkins, Ewa M. Goldys, Steven F. Maier

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The proinflammatory cytokine interleukin (IL)-1β plays a pivotal role in the behavioral manifestations (i.e., sickness) of the stress response. Indeed, exposure to acute and chronic stressors induces the expression of IL-1β in stress-sensitive brain regions. Thus, it is typically presumed that exposure to stressors induces the extra-cellular release of IL-1β in the brain parenchyma. However, this stress-evoked neuroimmune phenomenon has not been directly demonstrated nor has the cellular process of IL-1β release into the extracellular milieu been characterized in brain. This cellular process involves a form of inflammatory cell death, termed pyroptosis, which involves: 1) activation of caspase-1, 2) caspase-1 maturation of IL-1β, 3) caspase-1 cleavage of gasdermin D (GSDMD), and 4) GSDMD-induced permeability of the cell membrane through which IL-1β is released into the extracellular space. Thus, the present study examined whether stress induces the extra-cellular release of IL-1β and engages the above cellular process in mediating IL-1β release in the brain. Male Sprague-Dawley rats were exposed to inescapable tailshock (IS). IL-1β extra-cellular release, caspase-1 activity and cleavage of GSDMD were measured in dorsal hippocampus. We found that exposure to IS induced a transient increase in the release of IL-1β into the extracellular space immediately after termination of the stressor. IS also induced a transient increase in caspase-1 activity prior to IL-1β release, while activation of GSDMD was observed immediately after termination of the stressor. IS also increased mRNA and protein expression of the ESCRTIII protein CHMP4B, which is involved in cellular repair. The present results suggest that exposure to an acute stressor induces the hallmarks of pyroptosis in brain, which might serve as a key cellular process involved in the release of IL-1β into the extracellular milieu of the brain parenchyma.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)70-80
Number of pages11
JournalBrain, Behavior, and Immunity
Volume90
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2020

Keywords

  • Caspase-1
  • Gasdermin
  • IL-1β
  • Neuroinflammation
  • Pyroptosis
  • Stress

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