Critical role for mast cells in interleukin-1β-driven skin inflammation associated with an activating mutation in the nlrp3 protein.

Publication Type:

Journal Article


Immunity, Volume 37, Issue 1, p.85-95 (2012)


Cryopyrin-associated periodic syndromes (CAPS) are caused by aberrant interleukin-1β (IL-1β) production induced by mutations in the NLRP3 protein in humans, but the mechanisms involved remain poorly understood. Using a mouse model, we show a role for the indigenous microbiota and mast cells (MCs) in skin disease associated with mutant Nlrp3 protein. Unlike normal cells, MCs expressing mutant Nlrp3 produced IL-1β in response to lipopolysaccharide or tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α). In neonatal mice, the microbiota induced TNF-α and IL-1β and promoted skin disease. MC deficiency greatly reduced disease in Nlrp3 mutant mice, and reconstitution of MC-deficient mice with mutant MCs restored skin disease, which required the expression of IL-1β in MCs. Surprisingly, neutralization of TNF-α abrogated IL-1β production and skin disease in neonatal Nlrp3 mutant mice, but not in affected adult mice. Thus, the microbiota and MCs initiate cellular events leading to dysregulated IL-1β production and skin inflammation in neonatal mice with the CAPS-associated Nlrp3 mutation.