In previous reports, we have shown that interleukin 1 (IL1), a cytokine associated with implantation in mice, is also expressed in reproductive tissues of viviparous squamate reptiles and cartilaginous fishes. In the present study, we investigated the expression of IL1B and its functional membrane receptor type I (IL1R1) in amphibians, a class of vertebrates that is characterized by different reproductive modes, including internal and external fertilization. In particular, we investigated the oviductal tissues of the aplacental viviparous Salamandra lanzai, the oviparous Triturus carnifex, and the ovuliparous Bufo bufo. In immunohistochemistry with anti-human IL1B and IL1R1 polyclonal antibodies we found that in S. lanzai, most cells in the uterine mucosa were immunoreactive for IL1B and IL1R1. In T. carnifex, IL1B and IL1R1 were present in ciliated luminal cells, and there was evidence of IL1B in glandular cells. In B. bufo, the expression of IL1B and IL1R1 was limited to the apical cytoplasm of the ciliated oviductal cells. Western blot analysis showed that a putative mature form of IL1B, similar to that seen in mammals, was present in the oviductal tissues of S. lanzai, whereas different forms, which probably correspond to an inactive pro-IL1B protein, were found in T. carnifex and B. bufo. A band that corresponded to the predicted 80-kDa human IL1R1 was found in S. lanzai and T. carnifex. Although the present study shows that IL1B and IL1R1 expression occurs in all reproductive modes, the differential expression patterns noted between ovuliparity and oviparity and viviparity may reflect the different roles of IL1 in the various reproductive modes.
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Vol. 76 • No. 6