Macrophages are a crucial component of the innate immune system in sensing pathogens and promoting local and systemic inflammation. RIPK1 and RIPK3 are homologous kinases, previously linked to activation of necroptotic death. In this study, we have described roles for these kinases as master regulators of pro-inflammatory gene expression induced by lipopolysaccharide, independent of their well-documented cell death functions. In primary macrophages, this regulation was elicited in the absence of caspase-8 activity, required the adaptor molecule TRIF, and proceeded in a cell autonomous manner. RIPK1 and RIPK3 kinases promoted sustained activation of Erk, cFos, and NF-κB, which were required for inflammatory changes. Utilizing genetic and pharmacologic tools, we showed that RIPK1 and RIPK3 account for acute inflammatory responses induced by lipopolysaccharide in vivo; notably, this regulation did not require exogenous manipulation of caspases. These findings identified a new pharmacologically accessible pathway that may be relevant to inflammatory pathologies.
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