Research ArticleTUMOR IMMUNOLOGY

The AIM2 and NLRP3 inflammasomes trigger IL-1–mediated antitumor effects during radiation

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Science Immunology  07 May 2021:
Vol. 6, Issue 59, eabc6998
DOI: 10.1126/sciimmunol.abc6998

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Radiation needs the inflammasome

The inflammasome is a multiprotein complex that is activated in response to pathogen and danger-associated molecular patterns, promoting inflammatory responses. Radiation therapy induces antitumor immune responses and inflammasome activation, yet how inflammasome activation contributes to antitumor immunity is unclear. Here, Han et al. used knockout mouse models to show that the AIM2 and NRLP3 inflammasomes were both needed for radiation-induced antitumor immunity. These inflammasomes induced IL-1β maturation, which activated dendritic cells in an IL-1R–mediated manner, leading to T cell activation and antitumor immunity. Local IL-1β treatment reversed the radioresistance of a mouse tumor model. Together, these data suggest a role of the inflammasome in radiation-induced antitumor immunity and show that local IL-1β treatment can be used to overcome radioresistance.

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