Interleukin (IL)-1 is a well-known cytokine for the initiation of innate immunity in bacterial infection. However, the underlying mechanism of IL-1 on the respiratory infection is not fully elucidated. We studied how IL-1 contributes to the host defense against Streptococcus pneumoniae. IL-1R -/- mice showed high mortality, local cytokine storm, and substantial infiltrates in the lower respiratory tract after intratracheal challenge with S. pneumoniae. The IL-1-deficient condition did not suppress the propagation of bacteria in the lung, although the recruitment and the bacteria-killing ability of neutrophils (CD11b+Ly6C+Ly6G+) were not defective compared with wild-type mice. Unexpectedly, we found that the transcription of fibrinogen alpha and gamma genes were highly activated in the lungs of wild-type mice after the infection, whereas no significant changes were found in IL-1R-/- mice. Of note, synthesis of fibrinogen was dependent on the IL-1-IL-6- Stat3 cascade. Treatment with recombinant fibrinogen improved survival and bacterial propagation in the IL-1R-/- mice and blockade of the coagulation increased the susceptibility of wild-type mice to pneumococcal pneumonia. Our findings suggest that IL-1 signaling leads to the synthesis of fibrinogen in the lung after pneumococcus infection and is followed by coagulation, which contributes to the control of bacterial infection in the pulmonary tract.
- Innate immunity
- S. pneumoniae