Differential expression and haplotypic variation of two interleukin-1β genes in the common carp (Cyprinus carpio L.)

Marc Y. Engelsma, René J M Stet, Jeroen Saeij, B. M Lidy Verburg-Van Kemenade

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

65 Scopus citations


Interleukin-1β (IL-1β) is a central component in innate immunity and the inflammatory response of mammals. Only recently, the first non-mammalian IL-1β sequences were published. In this study, we describe a second IL-1β sequence (IL-1β2) in carp with 74% amino acid identity to the carp IL-1β1 sequence. The existence of two IL-1β copies in the carp genome probably originates from the tetraploid nature of the species. In contrast to the first carp IL-1β sequence, IL-1β2 is represented by multiple genes with 95-99% identity. Detection of several IL-1β2 sequences within individual homozygous fish suggests the presence of multiple copies of the IL-1β2 gene in the carp genome, possibly as a result of subsequent gene duplication of IL-1β2. In vivo, constitutive mRNA expression of both IL-1β genes was found in healthy carp. IL-1β2 mRNA expression could be up-regulated in head kidney cells similar to carp IL-1β1, in vivo by infection with Trypanoplasma borreli and in vitro by stimulation with lipopolysaccharide (LPS). Cortisol, the major glucocorticoid in fish, is an endocrine-derived factor mediating IL-1β expression. Although constitutive IL-1β expression was inhibited by a physiological dose of cortisol, cortisol synergistically enhanced LPS-induced IL-1β expression in carp. Involvement of the transcription factor nuclear factor (NF)-κB in expression of IL-1β1 and IL-1β2 was demonstrated. Ratio of IL-1β expression was determined and this showed IL-1β1 mRNA expression to be at least tenfold higher compared with IL-1β2. The possibilities of IL-1β2 being a functional gene or approaching pseudogene status are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)21-32
Number of pages12
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - Apr 2003
Externally publishedYes


  • Cyprinus carpio
  • Expression
  • Fish
  • Interleukin-1
  • Tetraploidy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology
  • Molecular Biology
  • Immunology
  • Immunology and Allergy


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