The inflammasome plays a critical role in inflammation and immune responses against pathogens. However, whether or how inflammasome activation regulates type I interferon (IFN-I) signaling in the context of malaria infection remain unknown. Here we show mice deficient in inflammasome sensors AIM2, NLRP3 or adaptor Caspase-1 produce high levels of IFN-I cytokines and are resistant to lethal Plasmodium yoelii YM infection. Inactivation of inflammasome signaling reduces interleukin (IL)-1β production, but increases IFN-I production. Mechanistically, we show inflammsome activation enhances IL-1β-mediated MyD88-TRAF3-IRF3 signaling and SOCS1 upregulation. However, SOCS1 inhibits MyD88-IRF7-mediated-IFN-I signaling and cytokine production in plasmacytoid dendritic cells. By contrast, ablation of inflammsome components reduces SOCS1 induction, and relieves its inhibition on MyD88-IRF7-dependent-IFN-I signaling, leading to high levels of IFN-α/β production and host survival. Our study identifies a previously unrecognized role of inflammasome activation in the negative regulation of IFN-I signaling pathways and provides potential targets for developing effective malaria vaccines.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Physics and Astronomy(all)