Histones activate the NLRP3 inflammasome in Kupffer cells during sterile inflammatory liver injury.
ABSTRACT: Cellular processes that drive sterile inflammatory injury after hepatic ischemia/reperfusion (I/R) injury are not completely understood. Activation of the inflammasome plays a key role in response to invading intracellular pathogens, but mounting evidence suggests that it also plays a role in inflammation driven by endogenous danger-associate molecular pattern molecules released after ischemic injury. The nucleotide-binding domain, leucine-rich repeat containing protein 3 (NLRP3) inflammasome is one such process, and the mechanism by which its activation results in damage and inflammatory responses following liver I/R is unknown. In this article, we report that both NLRP3 and its downstream target caspase-1 are activated during I/R and are essential for hepatic I/R injury, because both NLRP3 and caspase-1 knockout mice are protected from injury. Furthermore, inflammasome-mediated injury is dependent on caspase-1 expression in liver nonparenchymal cells. Although upstream signals that activate the inflammasome during ischemic injury are not well characterized, we show that endogenous extracellular histones activate the NLRP3 inflammasome during liver I/R through TLR9. This occurs through TLR9-dependent generation of reactive oxygen species. This mechanism is operant in resident liver Kupffer cells, which drive innate immune responses after I/R injury by recruiting additional cell types, including neutrophils and inflammatory monocytes. These novel findings illustrate a new mechanism by which extracellular histones and activation of NLRP3 inflammasome contribute to liver damage and the activation of innate immunity during sterile inflammation.
Project description:Hepatocyte death results in a sterile inflammatory response that amplifies the initial insult and increases overall tissue injury. One important example of this type of injury is acetaminophen-induced liver injury, in which the initial toxic injury is followed by innate immune activation. Using mice deficient in Tlr9 and the inflammasome components Nalp3 (NACHT, LRR, and pyrin domain-containing protein 3), ASC (apoptosis-associated speck-like protein containing a CARD), and caspase-1, we have identified a nonredundant role for Tlr9 and the Nalp3 inflammasome in acetaminophen-induced liver injury. We have shown that acetaminophen treatment results in hepatocyte death and that free DNA released from apoptotic hepatocytes activates Tlr9. This triggers a signaling cascade that increases transcription of the genes encoding pro-IL-1beta and pro-IL-18 in sinusoidal endothelial cells. By activating caspase-1, the enzyme responsible for generating mature IL-1beta and IL-18 from pro-IL-1beta and pro-IL-18, respectively, the Nalp3 inflammasome plays a crucial role in the second step of proinflammatory cytokine activation following acetaminophen-induced liver injury. Tlr9 antagonists and aspirin reduced mortality from acetaminophen hepatotoxicity. The protective effect of aspirin on acetaminophen-induced liver injury was due to downregulation of proinflammatory cytokines, rather than inhibition of platelet degranulation or COX-1 inhibition. In summary, we have identified a 2-signal requirement (Tlr9 and the Nalp3 inflammasome) for acetaminophen-induced hepatotoxicity and some potential therapeutic approaches.
Project description:Heat shock transcription factor 1 (HSF1) has been implicated in the differential regulation of cell stress and disease states. ?-catenin activation is essential for immune homeostasis. However, little is known about the role of macrophage HSF1-?-catenin signaling in the regulation of NLRP3 inflammasome activation during ischemia/reperfusion (I/R) injury (IRI) in the liver. This study investigated the functions and molecular mechanisms by which HSF1-?-catenin signaling influenced NLRP3-mediated innate immune response in vivo and in vitro. Using a mouse model of IR-induced liver inflammatory injury, we found that mice with a myeloid-specific HSF1 knockout (HSF1M-KO ) displayed exacerbated liver damage based on their increased serum alanine aminotransferase levels, intrahepatic macrophage/neutrophil trafficking, and proinflammatory interleukin (IL)-1? levels compared to the HSF1-proficient (HSF1FL/FL ) controls. Disruption of myeloid HSF1 markedly increased transcription factor X-box-binding protein (XBP1), NLR family, pyrin domain-containing 3 (NLRP3), and cleaved caspase-1 expression, which was accompanied by reduced ?-catenin activity. Knockdown of XBP1 in HSF1-deficient livers using a XBP1 small interfering RNA ameliorated hepatocellular functions and reduced NLRP3/cleaved caspase-1 and IL-1? protein levels. In parallel in vitro studies, HSF1 overexpression increased ?-catenin (Ser552) phosphorylation and decreased reactive oxygen species (ROS) production in bone-marrow-derived macrophages. However, myeloid HSF1 ablation inhibited ?-catenin, but promoted XBP1. Furthermore, myeloid ?-catenin deletion increased XBP1 messenger RNA splicing, whereas a CRISPR/CRISPR-associated protein 9-mediated XBP1 knockout diminished NLRP3/caspase-1.The myeloid HSF1-?-catenin axis controlled NLRP3 activation by modulating the XBP1 signaling pathway. HSF1 activation promoted ?-catenin, which, in turn, inhibited XBP1, leading to NLRP3 inactivation and reduced I/R-induced liver injury. These findings demonstrated that HSF1/?-catenin signaling is a novel regulator of innate immunity in liver inflammatory injury and implied the therapeutic potential for management of sterile liver inflammation in transplant recipients. (Hepatology 2016;64:1683-1698).
Project description:Acute pancreatitis is characterized by early activation of intracellular proteases followed by acinar cell death and inflammation. Activation of damage-associated molecular pattern (DAMP) receptors and a cytosolic complex termed the inflammasome initiate forms of inflammation. In this study, we examined whether DAMP-receptors and the inflammasome provide the link between cell death and the initiation of inflammation in pancreatitis.Acute pancreatitis was induced by caerulein stimulation in wild-type mice and mice deficient in components of the inflammasome (apoptosis-associated speck-like protein containing a caspase recruitment domain [ASC], NLRP3, caspase-1), Toll-like receptor 9 (TLR9), or the purinergic receptor P2X(7). Resident and infiltrating immune cell populations and pro-interleukin-1? expression were characterized in control and caerulein-treated adult murine pancreas. TLR9 expression was quantified in pancreatic cell populations. Additionally, wild-type mice were pretreated with a TLR9 antagonist before induction of acute pancreatitis by caerulein or retrograde bile duct infusion of taurolithocholic acid 3-sulfate.Caspase-1, ASC, and NLRP3 were required for inflammation in acute pancreatitis. Genetic deletion of Tlr9 reduced pancreatic edema, inflammation, and pro-IL-1? expression in pancreatitis. TLR9 was expressed in resident immune cells of the pancreas, which are predominantly macrophages. Pretreatment with the TLR9 antagonist IRS954 reduced pancreatic edema, inflammatory infiltrate, and apoptosis. Pretreatment with IRS954 reduced pancreatic necrosis and lung inflammation in taurolithocholic acid 3-sulfate-induced acute pancreatitis.Components of the inflammasome, ASC, caspase-1, and NLRP3, are required for the development of inflammation in acute pancreatitis. TLR9 and P2X(7) are important DAMP receptors upstream of inflammasome activation, and their antagonism could provide a new therapeutic strategy for treating acute pancreatitis.
Project description:Sterile inflammatory insults are known to activate innate immunity and propagate organ damage through the recognition of extracellular damage-associated molecular pattern (DAMP) molecules. Although DAMPs such as endogenous DNA and nuclear high-mobility group box 1 have been shown to be critical in sterile inflammation, the role of nuclear histone proteins has not yet been investigated. We report that endogenous histones function as DAMPs after ischemic injury through the pattern recognition receptor Toll-like receptor (TLR) 9 to initiate inflammation. Using an in vivo model of hepatic ischemia/reperfusion (I/R) injury, we show that levels of circulating histones are significantly higher after I/R, and that histone neutralization significantly protects against injury. Injection of exogenous histones exacerbates I/R injury through cytotoxic effects mediated by TLR9 and MyD88. In addition, histone administration increases TLR9 activation, whereas neither TLR9 nor MyD88 mutant mice respond to exogenous histones. Furthermore, we demonstrate in vitro that extracellular histones enhance DNA-mediated TLR9 activation in immune cells through a direct interaction.These novel findings reveal that histones represent a new class of DAMP molecules and serve as a crucial link between initial damage and activation of innate immunity during sterile inflammation.
Project description:Accumulation of hydrophobic bile acids in the liver contributes to cholestatic liver injury. Inflammation induced by excessive bile acids is believed to play a crucial role, however, the mechanisms of bile acids triggered inflammatory response remain unclear. Recent studies have highlighted the effect of NLRP3 inflammasome in mediating liver inflammation and fibrosis. In this study, we for the first time showed that chenodeoxycholic acid (CDCA), the major hydrophobic primary bile acid involved in cholestatic liver injury, could dose-dependently induce NLRP3 inflammasome activation and secretion of pro-inflammatory cytokine-IL-1? in macrophages by promoting ROS production and K+ efflux. Mechanistically, CDCA triggered ROS formation in part through TGR5/EGFR downstream signaling, including protein kinase B, extracellular regulated protein kinases and c-Jun N-terminal kinase pathways. Meanwhile, CDCA also induced ATP release from macrophages which subsequently causes K+ efflux via P2X7 receptor. Furthermore, in vivo inhibition of NLRP3 inflammasome with caspase-1 inhibitor dramatically decreased mature IL-1? level of liver tissue and ameliorated liver fibrosis in bile duct ligation (BDL) mouse model. In conclusion, excessive CDCA may represent an endogenous danger signal to activate NLRP3 inflammasome and initiate liver inflammation during cholestasis. Our finding offers a mechanistic basis to ameliorate cholestatic liver fibrosis by targeting inflammasome activation.
Project description:The NLRP3 inflammasome is an important regulator of the sterile inflammatory response, and its activation by host-derived sterile molecules leads to the intracellular activation of caspase-1, processing of the pro-inflammatory cytokines interleukin-1? (IL-1?)/IL-18, and pyroptotic cell death. Inappropriate activation of NLRP3 drives a chronic inflammatory response and is implicated in several non-communicable diseases, including gout, atherosclerosis, type?II diabetes and Alzheimer's disease. In this study, we report the design, synthesis and biological evaluation of novel boron compounds (NBCs) as NLRP3 inflammasome inhibitors. Structure-activity relationships (SAR) show that 4-fluoro substituents on the phenyl rings retain NLRP3 inhibitory activity, whereas more steric and lipophilic substituents diminish activity. Loss of inhibitory activity is also observed if the CCl3 group on the oxazaborine ring is replaced by a CF3 group. These findings provide additional understanding of the NBC series and will aid in the development of these NLRP3 inhibitors as tool compounds or therapeutic candidates for sterile inflammatory diseases.
Project description:The incidence of chronic liver disease is constantly increasing, owing to the obesity epidemic. However, the causes and mechanisms of inflammation-mediated liver damage remain poorly understood. Endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress is an initiator of cell death and inflammatory mechanisms. Although obesity induces ER stress, the interplay between hepatic ER stress, NLRP3 inflammasome activation and hepatocyte death signaling has not yet been explored during the etiology of chronic liver diseases. Steatosis is a common disorder affecting obese patients; moreover, 25% of these patients develop steatohepatitis with an inherent risk for progression to hepatocarcinoma. Increased plasma LPS levels have been detected in the serum of patients with steatohepatitis. We hypothesized that, as a consequence of increased plasma LPS, ER stress could be induced and lead to NLRP3 inflammasome activation and hepatocyte death associated with steatohepatitis progression. In livers from obese mice, administration of LPS or tunicamycin results in IRE1? and PERK activation, leading to the overexpression of CHOP. This, in turn, activates the NLRP3 inflammasome, subsequently initiating hepatocyte pyroptosis (caspase-1, -11, interleukin-1? secretion) and apoptosis (caspase-3, BH3-only proteins). In contrast, the LPS challenge is blocked by the ER stress inhibitor TUDCA, resulting in: CHOP downregulation, reduced caspase-1, caspase-11, caspase-3 activities, lowered interleukin-1? secretion and rescue from cell death. The central role of CHOP in mediating the activation of proinflammatory caspases and cell death was characterized by performing knockdown experiments in primary mouse hepatocytes. Finally, the analysis of human steatohepatitis liver biopsies showed a correlation between the upregulation of inflammasome and ER stress markers, as well as liver injury. We demonstrate here that ER stress leads to hepatic NLRP3 inflammasome pyroptotic death, thus contributing as a novel mechanism of inflammation-mediated liver injury in chronic liver diseases. Inhibition of ER-dependent inflammasome activation and cell death pathways may represent a potential therapeutic approach in chronic liver diseases.
Project description:Although the detrimental effects of diabetes mellitus/hyperglycemia have been observed in many liver disease models, the function and mechanism of hyperglycemia regulating liver-resident macrophages, Kupffer cells (KCs), in thioacetamide (TAA)-induced liver injury remain largely unknown. In this study, we evaluated the role of hyperglycemia in regulating NOD-like receptor family pyrin domain-containing 3 protein (NLRP3) inflammasome activation by inhibiting autophagy induction in KCs in the TAA-induced liver injury model. Type I diabetes/hyperglycemia was induced by streptozotocin treatment. Compared with the control group, hyperglycemic mice exhibited a significant increase in intrahepatic inflammation and liver injury. Enhanced NLRP3 inflammasome activation was detected in KCs from hyperglycemic mice, as shown by increased gene induction and protein levels of NLRP3, cleaved caspase-1, apoptosis-associated speck-like protein containing a caspase recruitment domain and interleukin-1?, compared with control mice. NLRP3 inhibition by its antagonist CY-09 effectively suppressed inflammasome activation in KCs and attenuated liver injury in hyperglycemic mice. Furthermore, inhibited autophagy activation was revealed by transmission electron microscope detection, decreased LC3B protein expression and p-62 protein degradation in KCs isolated from TAA-stressed hyperglycemic mice. Interestingly, inhibited 5' AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) but enhanced mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) activation was found in KCs from TAA-stressed hyperglycemic mice. AMPK activation by its agonist 5-aminoimidazole-4-carboxamide ribonucleotide (AICAR) or mTOR signaling knockdown by small interfering RNA restored autophagy activation, and subsequently, inhibited NLRP3 inflammasome activation in KCs, leading to ultimately reduced TAA-induced liver injury in the hyperglycemic mice. Our findings demonstrated that hyperglycemia aggravated TAA-induced acute liver injury by promoting liver-resident macrophage NLRP3 inflammasome activation via inhibiting AMPK/mTOR-mediated autophagy. This study provided a novel target for prevention of toxin-induced acute liver injury under hyperglycemia.
Project description:Autoimmune hepatitis (AIH) is a progressive inflammatory disorders of unknown etiology, characterized by immune-mediated destruction of hepatocytes and massive production of cytokines. Interleukin-1? is a pleiotropic proinflammatory cytokine and well known to be critical in a variety of autoimmune diseases. However, the role of interleukin-1? (IL-1?) in AIH is still indistinct. Here, we first investigated the significance of NOD-like receptor protein 3 (NLRP3) inflammasome-dependent IL-1? in the pathogenesis of AIH with a murine model of immune-mediated hepatitis induced by Concanavalin A (ConA). In ConA-treated mice, pathogenic elevated NLRP3, Cleaved caspase-1 and IL-1? levels, as well as an inflammatory cell death known as pyroptosis predominantly occurred in the livers. Strikingly, NLRP3-/- and caspase-1-/- mice were broadly protected from hepatitis as determined by decreased histological liver injury, serum aminotransferase (ALT)/aspartate transaminase levels, and pyroptosis. In vivo intervention with recombinant human interleukin-1 receptor antagonist (rhIL-1Ra) strongly suppressed ConA-induced hepatitis by decreasing tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-?) and interleukin-17 (IL-17) secretion, and inflammatory cell infiltration into livers. Additionally, rhIL-1Ra-pretreated mice developed significantly reduced NLRP3 inflammasome activation and reactive oxygen species (ROS) generation. Scavenging of ROS by N-acetyl-cysteine also attenuated NLRP3 inflammasome activation and liver inflammation, indicating that the essential role of ROS in mediating NLRP3 inflammasome activation in ConA-induced hepatitis. In conclusion, our results demonstrated that NLRP3 inflammasome-dependent IL-1? production was crucial in the pathogenesis of ConA-induced hepatitis, which shed light on the development of promising therapeutic strategies for AIH by blocking NLRP3 inflammasome and IL-1?.
Project description:Tissue-resident macrophages play critical roles in controlling homeostasis, tissue repair, and immunity. Inflammatory macrophages can sustain tissue damage and promote the development of fibrosis during infections and sterile tissue injury. The NLRP3 inflammasome and its effector cytokine IL-1? have been identified as important mediators of fibrosis. Epirubicin, an anthracycline topoisomerase II inhibitor, has been reported to inhibit myeloid inflammatory cytokine production and to promote tissue tolerance following bacterial infection. We investigated the anti-inflammatory properties of epirubicin on the NLRP3 inflammasome and TLR4-mediated inflammation in PMA-primed THP-1 and in primary human peritoneal macrophages (PM). Low-dose epirubicin at non-cytotoxic doses downregulated NLRP3 inflammasome components and reduced the release of cleaved caspase-1, bioactive IL-1?, and TNF-? following NLRP3 activation in a dose-dependent fashion. In addition, epirubicin attenuated inflammatory macrophage responses after TLR4 and TLR2 ligation. These anti-inflammatory effects were not mediated by the induction of autophagy or altered MAPK signaling, but as the result of a global transcriptional suppression of LPS-dependent genes. Epirubicin-treated macrophages displayed reduced acetylation of histone 3 lysine 9 (H3K9ac), suggesting anti-inflammatory epigenetic imprinting as one underlying mechanism.