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).
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Mawhinney et al. BMC Neuroscience 2011 12:123 doi:10.1186/1471-2202-12-123