Activation of NOD2 in vivo induces IL‐1β production in the eye via caspase‐1 but results in ocular inflammation independently of IL‐1 signaling Academic Article uri icon


  • Nucleotide-binding and oligomerization domain 2 (NOD2) belongs to the emerging Nod-like receptor (NLR) family considered important in innate immunity. Mutations in NOD2 cause Blau syndrome, an inherited inflammation of eye, joints, and skin. Mutations in a homologous region of another NLR member, NALP3, cause autoinflammation, wherein IL-1beta plays a critical role. Here, we tested the hypothesis that IL-1beta is a downstream mediator of NOD2-dependent ocular inflammation. We used a mouse model of NOD2-dependent ocular inflammation induced by muramyl dipeptide (MDP), the minimal bacterial motif sensed by NOD2. We report that MDP-induced ocular inflammation generates IL-1beta and IL-18 within the eye in a NOD2- and caspase-1-dependent manner. Surprisingly, two critical measures of ocular inflammation, leukocyte rolling and leukocyte intravascular adherence, appear to be completely independent of IL-1 signaling effects, as caspase-1 and IL-1R1-deficient mice still developed ocular inflammation in response to MDP. In contrast to the eye, a diminished neutrophil response was observed in an in vivo model of MDP-induced peritonitis in caspase-1-deficient mice, suggesting that IL-1beta is not essential in NOD2-dependent ocular inflammation, but it is involved, in part, in systemic inflammation triggered by NOD2 activation. This disparity may be influenced by IL-1R antagonist (IL-1Ra), as we observed differential IL-1Ra levels in the eye versus plasma at baseline levels and in response to MDP treatment. This report reveals a new in vivo function of NOD2 within the eye yet importantly, distinguishes NOD2-dependent from NALP3-dependent inflammation, as ocular inflammation in mice occurred independently of IL-1beta.

author list (cited authors)

  • Rosenzweig, H. L., Martin, T. M., Planck, S. R., Galster, K., Jann, M. M., Davey, M. P., ... Rosenbaum, J. T.

citation count

  • 31

publication date

  • May 2008