The NLRP3 inflammasome in traumatic brain injury: potential as a biomarker and therapeutic target.
ABSTRACT: There is a great clinical need to identify the underlying mechanisms, as well as related biomarkers, and treatment targets, for traumatic brain injury (TBI). Neuroinflammation is a central pathophysiological feature of TBI. NLRP3 inflammasome activity is a necessary component of the innate immune response to tissue damage, and dysregulated inflammasome activity has been implicated in a number of neurological conditions. This paper introduces the NLRP3 inflammasome and its implication in the pathogenesis of neuroinflammatory-related conditions, with a particular focus on TBI. Although its role in TBI has only recently been identified, findings suggest that priming and activation of the NLRP3 inflammasome are upregulated following TBI. Moreover, recent studies utilizing specific NLRP3 inhibitors have provided further evidence that this inflammasome is a major driver of neuroinflammation and neurobehavioral disturbances following TBI. In addition, there is emerging evidence that circulating inflammasome-associated proteins may have utility as diagnostic biomarkers of neuroinflammatory conditions, including TBI. Finally, novel and promising areas of research will be highlighted, including the potential involvement of the NLRP3 inflammasome in mild TBI, how factors such as biological sex may affect NLRP3 activity in TBI, and the use of emerging biomarker platforms. Taken together, this review highlights the exciting potential of the NLRP3 inflammasome as a target for treatments and biomarkers that may ultimately be used to improve TBI management.
Project description:Traumatic brain injury (TBI) represents an important problem of global health. The damage related to TBI is first due to the direct injury and then to a secondary phase in which neuroinflammation plays a key role. NLRP3 inflammasome is a component of the innate immune response and different diseases, such as neurodegenerative diseases, are characterized by NLRP3 activation. This review aims to describe NLRP3 inflammasome and the consequences related to its activation following TBI. NLRP3, caspase-1, IL-1?, and IL-18 are significantly upregulated after TBI, therefore, the use of nonspecific, but mostly specific NLRP3 inhibitors is useful to ameliorate the damage post-TBI characterized by neuroinflammation. Moreover, NLRP3 and the molecules associated with its activation may be considered as biomarkers and predictive factors for other neurodegenerative diseases consequent to TBI. Complications such as continuous stimuli or viral infections, such as the SARS-CoV-2 infection, may worsen the prognosis of TBI, altering the immune response and increasing the neuroinflammatory processes related to NLRP3, whose activation occurs both in TBI and in SARS-CoV-2 infection. This review points out the role of NLRP3 in TBI and highlights the hypothesis that NLRP3 may be considered as a potential therapeutic target for the management of neuroinflammation in TBI.
Project description:Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is a leading cause of death and disability worldwide. After the initial primary mechanical injury, a complex secondary injury cascade involving oxidative stress and neuroinflammation follows, which may exacerbate the injury and complicate the healing process. NADPH oxidase 2 (NOX2) is a major contributor to oxidative stress in TBI pathology, and inhibition of NOX2 is neuroprotective. The NLRP3 inflammasome can become activated in response to oxidative stress, but little is known about the role of NOX2 in regulating NLRP3 inflammasome activation following TBI. In this study, we utilized NOX2 knockout mice to study the role of NOX2 in mediating NLRP3 inflammasome expression and activation following a controlled cortical impact. Expression of NLRP3 inflammasome components NLRP3 and apoptosis-associated speck-like protein containing a CARD (ASC), as well as its downstream products cleaved caspase-1 and interleukin-1β (IL-1β), was robustly increased in the injured cerebral cortex following TBI. Deletion of NOX2 attenuated the expression, assembly, and activity of the NLRP3 inflammasome via a mechanism that was associated with TXNIP, a sensor of oxidative stress. The results support the notion that NOX2-dependent inflammasome activation contributes to TBI pathology.
Project description:BACKGROUND:An association between neuroinflammation and age-related neurologic disorders has been established but the molecular mechanisms and cell types involved have not been thoroughly characterized. Activity of the proinflammatory NLRP3 inflammasome is implicated in Alzheimer's and Parkinson's disease and our recent studies in patients suggest that dopaminergic neurons within the degenerating mesencephalon express NLRP3 throughout the progression of PD. Here, we directly test the impact of enhanced inflammasome activity in mesencephalic neurons by characterizing motor function, tissue integrity, and neuroinflammation in aging mice harboring hyperactivating mutations within the endogenous murine Nlrp3 locus, enabled only in cells expressing the dopaminergic neuron-specific Slc6a3 promoter. METHODS:We compared mice harboring inducible alleles encoding the cryopyrin-associated periodic syndrome activating mutations Nlrp3A350V and Nlrp3L351P inserted into the endogenous mouse Nlrp3 locus. Tissue specific expression was driven by breeding these animals with mice expressing Cre recombinase under the control of the dopaminergic neuron-specific Slc6a3 promoter. The experimental mice, designed to express hyperactive NLRP3 only when the endogenous mouse Nlrp3 promotor is active in dopaminergic neurons, were analyzed throughout 18?months of aging using longitudinal motor function assessments. Biochemical and histologic analyses of mesencephalic tissues were conducted in 1- and 18-month-old animals. RESULTS:We observed progressive and significant deficits in motor function in animals expressing Nlrp3L351P, compared with animals expressing Nlrp3WT and Nlrp3A350V. Age-dependent neuroinflammatory changes in the mesencephalon were noted in all animals. Analysis of GFAP-immunoreactive astrocytes in the substantia nigra revealed a significant increase in astrocyte number in animals expressing Nlrp3L351P compared with Nlrp3WT and Nlrp3A350V. Further analysis of Nlrp3L351P striatal tissues indicated genotype specific gliosis, elevated Il1b expression, and both morphologic and gene expression indicators of proinflammatory A1 astrocytes. CONCLUSIONS:Dopaminergic neurons have the potential to accumulate NLRP3 inflammasome activators with age, including reactive oxygen species, dopamine metabolites, and misfolded proteins. Results indicate the Nlrp3 locus is active in dopaminergic neurons in aging mice, and that the hyperactive Nlrp3L351P allele can drive neuroinflammatory changes in association with progressive behavioral deficits. Findings suggest neuronal NLRP3 inflammasome activity may contribute to neuroinflammation observed during normal aging and the progression of neurologic disorders.
Project description:Emerging studies have demonstrated the important physiological and pathophysiological roles of hydrogen sulphide (H2S) as a gasotransmitter for NOD-like receptor family pyrin domain-containing 3 (NLRP3) inflammasome-associated neuroinflammation in the central nervous system. However, the effects of H2S on neuroinflammation after intracerebral haemorrhage (ICH), especially on the NLRP3 inflammasome, remain unknown.We employed a Sprague-Dawley rat of collagenase-induced ICH in the present study. The time course of H2S content and the spatial expression of cystathionine-β-synthase (CBS) after ICH, the effects of endogenous and exogenous H2S after ICH, the effects of endogenous and exogenous H2S on NLRP3 inflammasome activation under P2X7 receptor (P2X7R) overexpression after ICH, and the involvement of the P2X7R in the mechanism by which microglia-derived H2S prevented NLRP3 inflammasome activation were investigated.We found ICH induced significant downregulation of endogenous H2S production in the brain, which may be the result of decreasing in CBS, the predominant cerebral H2S-generating enzyme. Administration of S-adenosyl-L-methionine (SAM), a CBS-specific agonist, or sodium hydrosulfide (NaHS), a classical exogenous H2S donor, not only restored brain and plasma H2S content but also attenuated brain oedema, microglial accumulation and neurological deficits at 1 day post-ICH by inhibiting the P2X7R/NLRP3 inflammasome cascade. Endogenous H2S production, which was derived mainly by microglia and above treatments, was verified by adenovirus-overexpressed P2X7R and in vitro primary microglia studies.These results indicated endogenous H2S synthesis was impaired after ICH, which plays a pivotal role in the P2X7R/NLRP3 inflammasome-associated neuroinflammatory response in the pathogenesis of secondary brain injury. Maintaining appropriate H2S concentrations in the central nervous system may represent a potential therapeutic strategy for managing post-ICH secondary brain injury and associated neurological deficits.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Inflammasome-mediated neuroinflammation may cause secondary injury following traumatic brain injury (TBI) in children. The pattern recognition receptors NACHT domain-, Leucine-rich repeat-, and PYD-containing Protein 1 (NLRP1) and NLRP3 are essential components of their respective inflammasome complexes. We sought to investigate whether NLRP1 and/or NLRP3 abundance is altered in children with severe TBI. METHODS:Cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) from children (n = 34) with severe TBI (Glasgow coma scale score [GCS] ?8) who had externalized ventricular drains (EVD) placed for routine care was evaluated for NLRP1 and NLRP3 at 0-24, 25-48, 49-72, and >72 h post-TBI and was compared to infection-free controls that underwent lumbar puncture to rule out CNS infection (n = 8). Patient age, sex, initial GCS, mechanism of injury, treatment with therapeutic hypothermia, and 6-month Glasgow outcome score were collected. RESULTS:CSF NLRP1 was undetectable in controls and detected in 2 TBI patients at only <24 h post-TBI. CSF NLRP3 levels were increased in TBI patients compared with controls at all time points, p < 0.001. TBI patients ?4 years of age had higher peak NLRP3 levels versus patients >4 (15.50 [3.65-25.71] vs. 3.04 [1.52-8.87] ng/mL, respectively; p = 0.048). Controlling for initial GCS in multivariate analysis, peak NLRP3 >6.63 ng/mL was independently associated with poor outcome at 6 months. CONCLUSIONS:In the first report of NLRP1 and NLRP3 in childhood neurotrauma, we found that CSF NLRP3 is elevated in children with severe TBI and independently associated with younger age and poor outcome. Future studies correlating NLRP3 with other markers of inflammation and response to therapy are warranted.
Project description:Neuroinflammation is a well-characterized pathophysiology occurring in association with the progression of Parkinson's disease. Characterizing the cellular and molecular basis of neuroinflammation is critical to understanding its impact on the incidence and progression of PD and other neurologic disorders. Inflammasomes are intracellular pro-inflammatory pattern-recognition receptors capable of initiating and propagating inflammation. These cellular complexes are well characterized in the innate immune system and activity of the NLRP3 inflammasome has been reported in microglia. NLRP3 inflammasome activity has been associated with Alzheimer's disease, and recent reports, from our laboratory and others, indicate that Nlrp3 is required for neuroinflammation and nigral cell loss in animal models of PD. NLRP3 has not yet been characterized in PD patients. Here we characterize NLRP3 in PD using immunohistologic and genetic approaches. Histologic studies revealed elevated NLRP3 expression in mesencephalic neurons of PD patients. Analysis of exome sequencing data for genetic variation of NLRP3 identified multiple single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) including rs7525979 that was associated with a significantly reduced risk of developing PD. Mechanistic studies conducted in HEK293 cells indicated that the synonymous SNP, NLRP3 rs7525979, alters the efficiency of NLRP3 translation impacting NLRP3 protein stability, ubiquitination state, and solubility. These data provide evidence that dopaminergic neurons are a cell-of-origin for inflammasome activity in PD and are consistent with recent animal studies, suggesting that inflammasome activity may impact the progression of PD.
Project description:Neuroinflammation is the local reaction of the brain to infection, trauma, toxic molecules or protein aggregates. The brain resident macrophages, microglia, are able to trigger an appropriate response involving secretion of cytokines and chemokines, resulting in the activation of astrocytes and recruitment of peripheral immune cells. IL-1? plays an important role in this response; yet its production and mode of action in the brain are not fully understood and its precise implication in neurodegenerative diseases needs further characterization. Our results indicate that the capacity to form a functional NLRP3 inflammasome and secretion of IL-1? is limited to the microglial compartment in the mouse brain. We were not able to observe IL-1? secretion from astrocytes, nor do they express all NLRP3 inflammasome components. Microglia were able to produce IL-1? in response to different classical inflammasome activators, such as ATP, Nigericin or Alum. Similarly, microglia secreted IL-18 and IL-1?, two other inflammasome-linked pro-inflammatory factors. Cell stimulation with ?-synuclein, a neurodegenerative disease-related peptide, did not result in the release of active IL-1? by microglia, despite a weak pro-inflammatory effect. Amyloid-? peptides were able to activate the NLRP3 inflammasome in microglia and IL-1? secretion occurred in a P2X7 receptor-independent manner. Thus microglia-dependent inflammasome activation can play an important role in the brain and especially in neuroinflammatory conditions.
Project description:NLRP3 inflammasome has been considered as an important contributor to inflammation and neuronal death after traumatic brain injury (TBI). Oridonin (Ori), the major active ingredient of Chinese herbal medicine <i>Rabdosia rubescens</i>, has been proved to be a covalent NLRP3 inhibitor with strong anti-inflammation activity. The purpose of this study was to investigate the effect of Ori on inflammation and brain injury induced by TBI. Adult male C57BL/6 mice were subjected to closed-head injury using Hall's weight-dropping method. Ori was injected directly intraperitoneally at a dose of 10 mg/kg within 30 min after TBI and injected once daily until the experiments ended. Our results showed that NLRP3 inflammasome was activated within 24 h post-TBI. The expression of NLRP3 inflammasome components (NLRP3, ASC, and caspase-1) was significantly decreased after treatment with Ori. Besides, the secretion of IL-1? and IL-18, downstream inflammatory factors of activated caspase-1, was reduced by Ori treatment. Importantly, Ori administration further protected the blood-brain barrier, alleviated brain edema, reduced cortical lesion volume, decreased cell death, and attenuated neurological deficits after TBI. Our findings indicate that NLRP3 inflammasome participated in the secondary injury after TBI and the application of Ori may provide neuroprotection via inhibiting NLRP3 inflammasome in animal models, suggesting that Ori might be a promising candidate for patients with TBI.
Project description:The NOD LRR pyrin domain containing protein 3 (NLRP3) inflammasome is a cytosolic multi-proteins conglomerate with intrinsic ATPase activity. Their predominant presence in the immune cells emphasizes its significant role in immune response. The downstream effector proteins IL-1? and IL-18 are responsible for the biological functions of the NLRP3 inflammasome upon encountering the alarmins and microbial ligands. Although the NLRP3 inflammasome is essential for host defense during infections, uncontrolled activation and overproduction of IL-1? and IL-18 increase the risk of developing autoimmune and metabolic disorders. Emerging evidences suggest the action of lncRNAs in regulating the activity of NLRP3 inflammasome in various disease conditions. The long non-coding RNA (lncRNA) is an emerging field of study and evidence on their regulatory role in various diseases is grabbing attention. Recent studies emphasize the functions of lncRNAs in the fine control of the NLRP3 inflammasome at nuclear and cytoplasmic levels by interfering in chromatin architecture, gene transcription and translation. Recently, lncRNAs are also found to control the activity of various regulators of NLRP3 inflammasome. Understanding the precise role of lncRNA in controlling the activity of NLRP3 inflammasome helps us to design targeted therapies for multiple inflammatory diseases. The present review is a novel attempt to consolidate the substantial role of lncRNAs in the regulation of the NLRP3 inflammasome. A deeper insight on the NLRP3 inflammasome regulation by lncRNAs will help in developing targeted and beneficial therapeutics in the future.
Project description:The NLRP3 inflammasome signaling pathway is a major contributor to the neuroinflammatory process in the central nervous system. Oxidative stress and mitochondrial dysfunction are key pathophysiological processes of many chronic neurodegenerative diseases, including Parkinson's disease (PD). However, the inter-relationship between mitochondrial defects and neuroinflammation is not well understood. In the present study, we show that impaired mitochondrial function can augment the NLRP3 inflammasome-driven proinflammatory cascade in microglia. Primary mouse microglia treated with the common inflammogen LPS increased NLRP3 and pro-IL-1? expression. Interestingly, exposure of LPS-primed microglial cells to the mitochondrial complex-I inhibitory pesticides rotenone and tebufenpyrad specifically potentiated the NLRP3 induction, ASC speck formation and pro-IL-1? processing to IL-1? in a dose-dependent manner, indicating that mitochondrial impairment heightened the NLRP3 inflammasome-mediated proinflammatory response in microglia. The neurotoxic pesticide-induced NLRP3 inflammasome activation was accompanied by bioenergetic defects and lysosomal dysfunction in microglia. Furthermore, the pesticides enhanced mitochondrial ROS generation in primary microglia, while amelioration of mitochondria-derived ROS by the mitochondria-targeted antioxidant mito-apocynin completely abolished IL-1? release, indicating mitochondrial ROS drives potentiation of the NLRP3 inflammasome in microglia. Exposure to conditioned media obtained from mitochondrial inhibitor-treated, LPS-primed microglial cells, but not unprimed cells, induced dopaminergic neurodegeneration in cultured primary mesencephalic and human dopaminergic neuronal cells (LUHMES). Notably, our in vivo results with chronic rotenone rodent models of PD further support the activation of proinflammatory NLRP3 inflammasome signaling due to mitochondrial dysfunction. Collectively, our results demonstrate that mitochondrial impairment in microglia can amplify NLRP3 inflammasome signaling, which augments the dopaminergic neurodegenerative process.