Open Access Highly Accessed Research article

Heightened inflammasome activation is linked to age-related cognitive impairment in Fischer 344 rats

Lana J Mawhinney12, Juan Pablo de Rivero Vaccari12, Gordon A Dale3, Robert W Keane23 and Helen M Bramlett124*

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Neurological Surgery, University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, 1095 NW 14th Terrace, Miami, FL 33136, USA

2 The Miami Project to Cure Paralysis, University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, 1095 NW 14th Terrace, Miami, FL 33136, USA

3 Department of Physiology and Biophysics, University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, 1600 NW 10th Avenue, Miami, Florida 33136, USA

4 Bruce W. Carter Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center, 1201 N.W. 16th Street Miami, FL 33125, USA

For all author emails, please log on.

BMC Neuroscience 2011, 12:123  doi:10.1186/1471-2202-12-123

Published: 1 December 2011

Additional files

Additional file 1:

Aging induces processing of IL-1β and IL-18 in the hippocampus. Representative immunoblot analysis of hippocampal brain lysates of young (Y) and aged (A) animals. Brain lysates were immunoblotted with antibodies against IL-1β and IL-18. β-Tubulin was used as an internal standard and control for protein loading. Previous findings have shown that IL-1 cytokines in the brain are associated with the aging process. To establish whether aging activates these pro-inflammatory cytokines in the hippocampus, protein lysates from young and aged rats were analyzed for IL-1β and IL-18 by immunoblotting procedures. The levels of active, processed forms of IL-1β and IL-18 were higher in the aged animals than their younger counterparts, thus indicating that aging induces activation of these inflammatory cytokines in the hippocampus. Unlike IL-1α, IL-1β and IL-18 are cytokines that are active only after inflammasome processing. Therefore, since IL-1β and IL-18 are secreted cytokines quantification of these cytokines was not done for it would represent an inaccurate estimation due to the inability to determine the amount of IL-1 cytokines that are still in the cell and the amount that has been secreted. Instead, inflammasome activation was determined by measuring the protein levels of caspase-1 (See Figure 2).

Format: JPEG Size: 331KB Download file

Open Data