IFN-γ Primes Keratinocytes for HSV-1–Induced Inflammasome Activation

Citations of this article
Mendeley users who have this article in their library.


Inflammasomes are immune complexes that induce an inflammatory response upon sensing of different stress signals. This effect is mainly mediated by activation and secretion of the proinflammatory cytokines proIL-1β and -18. Here we report that infection of human primary keratinocytes with the double-stranded DNA viruses modified vaccinia virus Ankara (MVA) or herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1)-induced secretion of mature IL-1β and -18. This secretion was dependent on several inflammasome complexes; however, the absent in melanoma 2 (AIM2) inflammasome, which is activated by binding of double-stranded DNA, played the most important role. Whereas prestimulation of keratinocytes with IFN-γ moderately increased MVA-induced IL-1β and IL-18 secretion, it was essential for substantial secretion of these cytokines in response to herpes simplex virus type 1 infection. IFN-γ partially restored HSV-1 suppressed proIL-1β expression and was also required for inflammasome activation. Most importantly, IFN-γ strongly suppressed virus replication in keratinocytes in vitro and ex vivo, which was independent of inflammasome activation. Our results suggest that, similar to Herpesviridae infection in mice, HSV-1 replication in human skin is controlled by a positive feedback loop of keratinocyte-derived IL-1/IL-18 and IFN-γ expressed by immune cells.




Strittmatter, G. E., Sand, J., Sauter, M., Seyffert, M., Steigerwald, R., Fraefel, C., … Beer, H. D. (2016). IFN-γ Primes Keratinocytes for HSV-1–Induced Inflammasome Activation. Journal of Investigative Dermatology, 136(3), 610–620. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jid.2015.12.022

Register to see more suggestions

Mendeley helps you to discover research relevant for your work.

Already have an account?

Save time finding and organizing research with Mendeley

Sign up for free