UMMS Affiliation

Department of Medicine, Division of Infectious Diseases and Immunology

Publication Date


Document Type



Interleukin-1beta; Macrophages; Carrier Proteins


Immunology and Infectious Disease


BACKGROUND: Cytokines regulated by the inflammasome pathway have been extensively implicated in various age-related immune pathologies. We set out to elucidate the contribution of the nod-like receptor protein 3 (NLRP3) inflammasome pathway to the previously described deficiencies in IL-1beta production by macrophages from aged mice. We examined the production of pro-IL-1beta and its conversion into IL-1beta as two separate steps and compared these cytokine responses in bone marrow derived macrophages from young (6-8 weeks) and aged (18-24 months) C57BL/6 mice.

FINDINGS: Relative to macrophages from young mice, macrophages from aged mice produced less pro-IL-1beta after TLR4 stimulation with LPS. However upon activation of the NLRP3 inflammasome with ATP, macrophages from young and aged mice were able to efficiently convert and secrete intracellular pro-cytokines as functional cytokines.

CONCLUSIONS: Lower levels of IL-1beta production are a result of slower and lower overall production of pro-IL-1beta in macrophages from aged mice.

Rights and Permissions

© 2012 Ramirez et al.; licensee BioMed Central Ltd. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

DOI of Published Version



Immun Ageing. 2012 Dec 11;9(1):27. doi: 10.1186/1742-4933-9-27. Link to article on publisher's site 2012 Ramirez et al.; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.

Journal/Book/Conference Title

Immunity and ageing : I and A

Related Resources

Link to Article in PubMed

PubMed ID