IL-1β inhibits axonal growth of developing sympathetic neurons

Mol Cell Neurosci. 2011 Oct;48(2):142-50. doi: 10.1016/j.mcn.2011.07.003. Epub 2011 Jul 21.


Several secreted proteins facilitate the growth and guidance of sympathetic axons to their target organs during development. Here we show that IL-1β, a key regulator of inflammation in the immune system, inhibits axonal growth and branching from cultured sympathetic neurons at a stage in development when their axons are ramifying within their targets in vivo. IL-1β is synthesised in sympathetic ganglia and its targets at this stage, and IL-1β protein is detectable in the axons and perikarya of the innervating neurons. It acts directly on developing axons to inhibit their growth via NF-κB signalling. These findings show that IL-1β is a novel locally, and target-derived factor that can regulate the extent of sympathetic axon growth during the late embryonic and early postnatal period in developing rat sympathetic neurons.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Axons / drug effects*
  • Axons / metabolism
  • Axons / physiology*
  • Axons / ultrastructure
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Ganglia, Sympathetic / cytology*
  • Interleukin-1alpha / metabolism
  • Interleukin-1beta / pharmacology*
  • Mice
  • NF-kappa B / metabolism
  • Neurons / drug effects
  • Neurons / physiology
  • Neurons / ultrastructure*
  • Rats
  • Rats, Sprague-Dawley
  • Receptors, Interleukin-1 Type I / genetics
  • Receptors, Interleukin-1 Type I / metabolism
  • Receptors, Interleukin-1 Type II / genetics
  • Receptors, Interleukin-1 Type II / metabolism
  • Signal Transduction / physiology


  • Interleukin-1alpha
  • Interleukin-1beta
  • NF-kappa B
  • Receptors, Interleukin-1 Type I
  • Receptors, Interleukin-1 Type II