Apoptosis inhibitor of macrophage (AIM) modulates the signaling in inflammatory responses, including infection, cancer, or other immune diseases. Recent studies suggest that like interleukin-10 (IL-10), AIM is involved in alternatively activated (M2) macrophage polarization. We aimed to understand whether and how AIM is involved in IL-10-induced inhibition of inflammasome activation and resolution of inflammation. First, we demonstrated that IL-10 induced increases in mRNA and protein expression of AIM in murine bone marrow-derived macrophages (BMDM). In addition, genetic and pharmacologic inhibition of STAT3 (signal transducer and activator of transcription 3) reduced IL-10-induced AIM expression. We also found that IL-10-induced STAT3 activity enhanced the AIM promoter activity by directly binding the promoter of the AIM gene. Additionally, reduction of LPS/adenosine triphosphate (ATP)-induced IL-1β production and caspase-1 activation by IL-10 was reversed in BMDM from AIM−/− mice. Treatment of BMDM from both wild type (WT) and IL-10−/− mice with recombinant AIM showed the inhibitory effects on IL-1β and IL-18 production and caspase-1 activation. Endogenous and exogenous AIM inhibited apoptosis-associated speck-like protein containing a caspase activation and recruitment domain (ASC) speck formation. In LPS-induced acute peritonitis, inhibition of IL-1β and IL-18 production in peritoneal lavage fluid (PLF) and serum, reduction of caspase-1 activation in peritoneal macrophages, and reduction of numbers of neutrophils and peritoneal macrophages in PLF by administration of IL-10 were not evident in AIM−/− mice. Our in vitro and in vivo data reveal a novel role of AIM in the inhibition of inflammasome-mediated caspase-1 activation and IL-1β and IL-18 production.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
The authors thank Ye-Ji Lee (Department of Physiology, College of Medicine, Ewha Womans University) for excellent assistance in animal study. This work was supported by the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) grants (2020R1A5A2019210 and 2020R1A2B5B02001686) funded by the Korean government (MSIT).
© 2021, The Author(s).