Activation of interleukin-1 (IL-1) receptor (IL-1R), Toll-like receptor 2 (TLR2), and TLR4 triggers NF-kappaB and mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK)-dependent signaling, thereby initiating immune responses. Tollip has been implicated as a negative regulator of NF-kappaB signaling triggered by these receptors in in vitro studies. Here, deficient mice were used to determine the physiological contribution of Tollip to immunity. NF-kappaB, as well as MAPK, signaling appeared normal in Tollip-deficient cells stimulated with IL-1beta or the TLR4 ligand lipopolysaccharide (LPS). Similarly, IL-1beta- and TLR-driven activation of dendritic cells and lymphocytes was indistinguishable from wild-type cells. In contrast, the production of the proinflammatory cytokines, IL-6 and tumor necrosis factor alpha was significantly reduced after IL-1beta and LPS treatment at low doses but not at lethal doses of LPS. Tollip therefore controls the magnitude of inflammatory cytokine production in response to IL-1beta and LPS.
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