Myeloid caspase-8 restricts RIPK3-dependent proinflammatory IL-1 production and CD4 T cell activation in autoimmune demyelination. Academic Article uri icon


  • Caspase-8 functions at the crossroad of programmed cell death and inflammation. Here, using genetic approaches and the experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis model of inflammatory demyelination, we identified a negative regulatory pathway for caspase-8 in infiltrated macrophages whereby it functions to restrain interleukin (IL)-1-driven autoimmune inflammation. Caspase-8 is partially activated in macrophages/microglia in active lesions of multiple sclerosis. Selective ablation of Casp8 in myeloid cells, but not microglia, exacerbated autoimmune demyelination. Heightened IL-1 production by caspase-8-deficient macrophages underlies exacerbated activation of encephalitogenic T cells and production of GM-CSF and interferon-. Mechanistically, IL-1 overproduction by primed caspase-8-deficient macrophages was mediated by RIPK1/RIPK3 through the engagement of NLRP3 inflammasome and was independent of cell death. When instructed by autoreactive CD4 T cells in the presence of antigen, caspase-8-deficient macrophages, but not their wild-typecounterparts, released significant amount of IL-1 that in turn acted through IL-1R to amplify T cell activation. Moreover, the worsened experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis progression in myeloid Casp8 mutant mice was completely reversed when Ripk3 was simultaneously deleted. Together, these data reveal a functional link between T cell-driven autoimmunity and inflammatory IL-1 that is negatively regulated by caspase-8, and suggest that dysregulation of the pathway may contribute to inflammatory autoimmune diseases, such as multiple sclerosis.

published proceedings

  • Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A

altmetric score

  • 10.33

author list (cited authors)

  • Kim, S., Lu, H. C., Steelman, A. J., & Li, J.

citation count

  • 8

complete list of authors

  • Kim, Sunja||Lu, Hsueh Chung||Steelman, Andrew J||Li, Jianrong

publication date

  • June 2022