Neutrophil proteinase 3-mediated induction of bioactive IL-18 secretion by human oral epithelial cells

S. Sugawara, A. Uehara, T. Nochi, T. Yamaguchi, H. Ueda, A. Sugiyama, K. Hanzawa, K. Kumagai, H. Okamura, H. Takada

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250 Citations (Scopus)


IL-18, a potent IFN-γ-inducing cytokine, is expressed by various nonimmune cells as well as macrophages, suggesting that it has important physiological and immunological roles. The present study focused on the mechanism of active IL-18 induction from human oral epithelial cells. The epithelial cells and the cell lines constitutively express IL-18 mRNA and the 24-kDa precursor form of IL-18. Bioactive IL-18 exhibiting IFN-γ-inducing activity was detected in the supernatant of the cells on costimulation with neutrophil proteinase 3 (PR3) and LPS for 24 h after IFN-γ-priming for 3 days. An active 18-kDa form of IL-18 was detected in lysate and supernatant of the cells only after the above treatment and the induction was inhibited by cycloheximide and by serine proteinase inhibitors. After the treatment, lactate dehydrogenase activity was not detected in the cell culture supernatant, and PR3 was detected only in the membrane and not in cytoplasm fractions of the cells. Caspase-1 was not detected in the cells even after the treatment and the IL-18 induction was not inhibited by a caspase-1 inhibitor. These results suggest that the PR3-mediated induction of bioactive IL-18 secretion from oral epithelial cells in combination with LPS after IFN-γ-priming occurred via a caspase-1-independent pathway, and provide new insight into the possible involvement of a neutrophil proteinase in the induction of bioactive IL-18 in oral inflammation such as periodontitis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)6568-6575
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Immunology
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 2001 Dec 1


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