IL-1RI (interleukin-1 receptor type I) signalling is essential for host defence and hemichannel activity during acute central nervous system bacterial infection

Juan Xiong, Maria Burkovetskaya, Nikolay Karpuk, Tammy Kielian

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

11 Scopus citations


Staphylococcus aureus is a common aetiological agent of bacterial brain abscesses. We have previously established that a considerable IL-1 (interleukin-1) response is elicited immediately following S. aureus infection, where the cytokine can exert pleiotropic effects on glial activation and blood-brain barrier permeability. To assess the combined actions of IL-1α and IL-1aβ during CNS (central nervous system) infection, host defence responses were evaluated in IL-1RI (IL-1 receptor type I) KO (knockout) animals. IL-1RI KO mice were exquisitely sensitive to intracerebral S. aureus infection, as demonstrated by enhanced mortality rates and bacterial burdens within the first 24 h following pathogen exposure compared with WT (wild-type) animals. Loss of IL-1RI signalling also dampened the expression of select cytokines and chemokines, concomitant with significant reductions in neutrophil and macrophage infiltrates into the brain. In addition, the opening of astrocyte hemichannels during acute infection was shown to be dependent on IL-1RI activity. Collectively, these results demonstrate that IL-1RI signalling plays a pivotal role in the genesis of immune responses during the acute stage of brain abscess development through S. aureus containment, inflammatory mediator production, peripheral immune cell recruitment, and regulation of astrocyte hemichannel activity. Taken in the context of previous studies with MyD88 (myeloid differentiation primary response gene 88) and TLR2 (Toll-like receptor 2) KO animals, the current report advances our understanding of MyD88-dependent cascades and implicates IL-1RI signalling as a major antimicrobial effector pathway during acute brain-abscess formation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)175-185
Number of pages11
JournalASN Neuro
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 9 2012



  • Acute brain slices
  • Brain abscess
  • Hemichannel
  • Interleukin-1 receptor type i (IL-1RI)
  • Microglia
  • Myeloid differentiation primary response gene 88 (Myd88)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Clinical Neurology

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