Cell Rep 2018 03;22(12):3168-3174
Department of Immunology, St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, Memphis, TN 38105, USA. Electronic address:
Interferons (IFNs) and inflammasomes are essential mediators of anti-microbial immunity. Type I IFN signaling drives activation of the AIM2 inflammasome in macrophages; however, the relative contribution of IFNs and inflammasome responses in host defense is less understood. We report intact AIM2 inflammasome responses in mice lacking type I IFN signaling during infection with F. novicida. Lack of type I IFN signaling conferred protection to F. novicida infection in contrast to the increased susceptibility in AIM2-deficient mice. Mice lacking both AIM2 and IFNAR2 were protected against the infection. The detrimental effects of type I IFN signaling were due to its ability to induce activation of apoptotic caspases and cell death. These results demonstrate the contrasting effects of type I IFN signaling and AIM2 during F. novicida infection in vivo and indicate a dominant role for type I IFNs in mediating detrimental responses despite the protective AIM2 inflammasome responses.