Preterm birth (PTB) is firmly linked to inflammation regardless of the presence of infection. Proinflammatory cytokines, including IL-1β, are produced in gestational tissues and can locally upregulate uterine activation proteins. Premature activation of the uterus by inflammation may lead to PTB, and IL-1 has been identified as a key inducer of this condition. However, all currently available IL-1 inhibitors are large molecules that exhibit competitive antagonism properties by inhibiting all IL-1R signaling, including transcription factor NF-κB, which conveys important physiological roles. We hereby demonstrate the efficacy of a small noncompetitive (all-d peptide) IL-1R-biased ligand, termed rytvela (labeled 101.10) in delaying IL-1β-, TLR2-, and TLR4-induced PTB in mice. The 101.10 acts without significant inhibition of NF-κB, and instead selectively inhibits IL-1R downstream stress-associated protein kinases/transcription factor c-jun and Rho GTPase/Rho-associated coiled-coil-containing protein kinase signaling pathways. The 101.10 is effective at decreasing proinflammatory and/or prolabor genes in myometrium tissue and circulating leukocytes in all PTB models independently of NF-κB, undermining NF-κB role in preterm labor. In this work, biased signaling modulation of IL-1R by 101.10 uncovers a novel strategy to prevent PTB without inhibiting NF-κB.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Immunology and Allergy