Journal of Experimental Medicine
Growing evidence supports a role for IL-1 in multiple sclerosis and experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE), but how it impacts neuroinflammation is poorly understood. We show that susceptibility to EAE requires activation of IL-1R1 on radiation-resistant cells via IL-1 secreted by bone marrow-derived cells. Neutrophils and monocyte-derived macrophages (MDMs) are the main source of IL-1 and produce this cytokine as a result of their transmigration across the inflamed blood-spinal cord barrier. IL-1R1 expression in the spinal cord is found in endothelial cells (ECs) of the pial venous plexus. Accordingly, leukocyte infiltration at EAE onset is restricted to IL-1R1(+) subpial and subarachnoid vessels. In response to IL-1, primary cultures of central nervous system ECs produce GM-CSF, G-CSF, IL-6, Cxcl1, and Cxcl2. Initiation of EAE or subdural injection of IL-1 induces a similar cytokine/chemokine signature in spinal cord vessels. Furthermore, the transfer of Gr1(+) cells on the spinal cord is sufficient to induce illness in EAE-resistant IL-1 knockout (KO) mice. Notably, transfer of Gr1(+) cells isolated from C57BL/6 mice induce massive recruitment of recipient myeloid cells compared with cells from IL-1 KO donors, and this recruitment translates into more severe paralysis. These findings suggest that an IL-1-dependent paracrine loop between infiltrated neutrophils/MDMs and ECs drives neuroinflammation.