Activation of NOD2 in vivo induces IL-1β production in the eye via caspase-1 but results in ocular inflammation independently of IL-1 signaling

H. L. Rosenzweig, T. M. Martin, S. R. Planck, K. Galster, M. M. Jann, M. P. Davey, K. Kobayashi, R. A. Flavell, J. T. Rosenbaum

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

34 Scopus citations


Nucleotide-binding and oligomerization domain 2 (NOD2) belongs to the emerging Nod-like receptor (NLR) family considered important in innate immunity. Mutations in NOD2 cause Blau syndrome, an inherited inflammation of eye, joints, and skin. Mutations in a homologous region of another NLR member, NALP3, cause autoinflammation, wherein IL-1β plays a critical role. Here, we tested the hypothesis that IL-1β is a downstream mediator of NOD2-dependent ocular inflammation. We used a mouse model of NOD2-dependent ocular inflammation induced by muramyl dipeptide (MDP), the minimal bacterial motif sensed by NOD2. We report that MDP-induced ocular inflammation generates IL-1β and IL-18 within the eye in a NOD2-and caspase-1-dependent manner. Surprisingly, two critical measures of ocular inflammation, leukocyte rolling and leukocyte intravascular adherence, appear to be completely independent of IL-1 signaling effects, as caspase-1 and IL-1R1-deficient mice still developed ocular inflammation in response to MDP. In contrast to the eye, a diminished neutrophil response was observed in an in vivo model of MDP-induced peritonitis in caspase-1-deficient mice, suggesting that IL-1β is not essential in NOD2-dependent ocular inflammation, but it is involved, in part, in systemic inflammation triggered by NOD2 activation. This disparity may be influenced by IL-1R antagonist (IL-1Ra), as we observed differential IL-1Ra levels in the eye versus plasma at baseline levels and in response to MDP treatment. This report reveals a new in vivo function of NOD2 within the eye yet importantly, distinguishes NOD2-dependent from NALP3-dependent inflammation, as ocular inflammation in mice occurred independently of IL-1β.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)529-536
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Leukocyte Biology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Aug 1 2008


  • Cytokines
  • Transgenic/knockout mice

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology
  • Cell Biology


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