Interleukin-1 involvement in the induction of leukemia inhibitory factor mRNA expression following axotomy of sympathetic ganglia.
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Axotomy of superior cervical (sympathetic) ganglia (SCG) results in increased neuropeptide gene expression. In vitro, neuropeptide gene expression is similarly increased by exposure to the inflammatory cytokine interleukin-1 (IL-1). The effect of IL-1 in-vitro has been shown to be mediated by leukemia inhibitory factor (LIF). Since IL-1 regulates neuropeptide expression via LIF in vitro, we asked whether axotomy in vivo produces an increase in LIF mRNA, and whether that increase is regulated by IL-1 activity. Within 6 h following axotomy, ganglionic LIF mRNA is substantially elevated. Moreover, axotomy produces a rapid and transient increase in intraganglionic IL-1 beta mRNA, followed rapidly by an increase in ICAM-1 mRNA, thereby suggesting a local source of IL-1 activity. Pretreatment with the anti-inflammatory agent dexamethasone (DEX) reduces the increases of both IL-1 beta and LIF mRNAs following axotomy. mRNA encoding the specific signal-transducing Type I IL-1 receptor is present in unlesioned SCG in vivo, and increases following axotomy. Local application of IL-1 beta in vivo induces LIF mRNA even in uninjured ganglia, though not to the extent seen with axotomy. DEX treatment blocks this IL-1 beta-mediated increase in LIF mRNA. Therefore, DEX blocks the induction of LIF mRNA by inhibiting both the production of IL-1 and its action on LIF gene expression. Axotomy of a homozygous IL-1 receptor type I gene knockout mouse leads to a delayed and/or diminished induction of LIF mRNA in SCG, but does not prevent LIF mRNA expression. We conclude that while IL-1 is likely to be involved in the cascade of gene expression that follows axotomy, it alone is not sufficient to mediate the full induction of LIF mRNA by axotomy.
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