Brain-borne IL-1 adjusts glucoregulation and provides fuel support to astrocytes and neurons in an autocrine/paracrine manner.

Del Rey, A; Verdenhalven, M; Lörwald, A C; Meyer, C; Hernangómez, M; Randolf, A; Roggero, E; König, A M; Heverhagen, Johannes; Guaza, C; Besedovsky, H O (2015). Brain-borne IL-1 adjusts glucoregulation and provides fuel support to astrocytes and neurons in an autocrine/paracrine manner. Molecular psychiatry, 21(9), pp. 1309-1320. Nature Publishing Group 10.1038/mp.2015.174

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It is still controversial which mediators regulate energy provision to activated neural cells, as insulin does in peripheral tissues. Interleukin-1β (IL-1β) may mediate this effect as it can affect glucoregulation, it is overexpressed in the 'healthy' brain during increased neuronal activity, and it supports high-energy demanding processes such as long-term potentiation, memory and learning. Furthermore, the absence of sustained neuroendocrine and behavioral counterregulation suggests that brain glucose-sensing neurons do not perceive IL-1β-induced hypoglycemia. Here, we show that IL-1β adjusts glucoregulation by inducing its own production in the brain, and that IL-1β-induced hypoglycemia is myeloid differentiation primary response 88 protein (MyD88)-dependent and only partially counteracted by Kir6.2-mediated sensing signaling. Furthermore, we found that, opposite to insulin, IL-1β stimulates brain metabolism. This effect is absent in MyD88-deficient mice, which have neurobehavioral alterations associated to disorders in glucose homeostasis, as during several psychiatric diseases. IL-1β effects on brain metabolism are most likely maintained by IL-1β auto-induction and may reflect a compensatory increase in fuel supply to neural cells. We explore this possibility by directly blocking IL-1 receptors in neural cells. The results showed that, in an activity-dependent and paracrine/autocrine manner, endogenous IL-1 produced by neurons and astrocytes facilitates glucose uptake by these cells. This effect is exacerbated following glutamatergic stimulation and can be passively transferred between cell types. We conclude that the capacity of IL-1β to provide fuel to neural cells underlies its physiological effects on glucoregulation, synaptic plasticity, learning and memory. However, deregulation of IL-1β production could contribute to the alterations in brain glucose metabolism that are detected in several neurologic and psychiatric diseases.Molecular Psychiatry advance online publication, 8 December 2015; doi:10.1038/mp.2015.174.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


04 Faculty of Medicine > Department of Radiology, Neuroradiology and Nuclear Medicine (DRNN) > Institute of Diagnostic, Interventional and Paediatric Radiology

UniBE Contributor:

Heverhagen, Johannes


600 Technology > 610 Medicine & health




Nature Publishing Group




Aisha Stefania Mzinga

Date Deposited:

23 Feb 2016 15:19

Last Modified:

23 Aug 2016 01:30

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