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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Interleukin-1 beta protects neurons via the interleukin-1 (IL-1) receptor- mediated Akt pathway and by IL-1 receptor-independent decrease of transmembrane currents in vivo.

Recently, we have demonstrated that tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-alpha) rescues retinal ganglion cells (RGCs) from retrograde cell death in vivo after axotomy of the optic nerve. The mechanism of RGC rescue was dependent on TNF-receptor I-mediated potassium current reduction and consecutive activation of the phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3-K)/Akt pathway. Here, we present evidence that interleukin-1 beta (IL-1 beta) also promotes RGC survival, but shows distinct differences with respect to its neuroprotective mechanisms. Using whole-cell and outside-out patch-clamp techniques, we observed that IL-1 beta decreased both inward sodium current amplitudes and outward potassium current amplitudes. Counteracting these effects by sodium or potassium channel opening inhibited the survival-promoting effects of this cytokine. IL-1 beta- induced current reduction could not be abolished by the interleukin-1 receptor antagonist, indicating that the electrophysiological effects of IL-1 beta are independent of interleukin-1 receptor I (IL-1RI) activation. Western blot analysis revealed an IL-1 beta-induced IL-1RI-dependent upregulation of phospho-Akt. Antagonism of the survival-promoting effects of IL-1 beta by PI3-K inhibition revealed the functional relevance of the PI3-K/Akt pathway in IL-1 beta-induced signal transduction in vivo.[1]


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