The macrophage NLRC4 inflammasome drives potent innate immune responses against Salmonella by eliciting caspase-1-dependent proinflammatory cytokine production (e.g., interleukin-1β [IL-1β]) and pyroptotic cell death. However, the potential contribution of other cell types to inflammasome-mediated host defense against Salmonella was unclear. Here, we demonstrate that neutrophils, typically viewed as cellular targets of IL-1β, themselves activate the NLRC4 inflammasome during acute Salmonella infection and are a major cell compartment for IL-1β production during acute peritoneal challenge in vivo. Importantly, unlike macrophages, neutrophils do not undergo pyroptosis upon NLRC4 inflammasome activation. The resistance of neutrophils to pyroptotic death is unique among inflammasome-signaling cells so far described and allows neutrophils to sustain IL-1β production at a site of infection without compromising the crucial inflammasome-independent antimicrobial effector functions that would be lost if neutrophils rapidly lysed upon caspase-1 activation. Inflammasome pathway modification in neutrophils thus maximizes host proinflammatory and antimicrobial responses during pathogen challenge.
Copyright © 2014 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.