JOURNAL ARTICLE

Expression of the NLRP3 inflammasome in cerebral cortex after traumatic brain injury in a rat model

Huan-Dong Liu, Wei Li, Zhen-Rui Chen, Yang-Chun Hu, Ding-Ding Zhang, Wei Shen, Meng-Liang Zhou, Lin Zhu, Chun-Hua Hang
Neurochemical Research 2013, 38 (10): 2072-83
23892989
Inflammatory response plays an important role in the pathogenesis of secondary damage after traumatic brain injury (TBI). The inflammasome is a multiprotein complex involved in innate immunity and a number of studies have suggested that the inflammasome plays a critical role in a host inflammatory signaling. Nucleotide-binding domain, leucine-rich repeat, pyrin domain containing 3 (NLRP3) is a key component of the NLRP3-inflammasome, which also includes apoptotic speck-containing protein (ASC) with a cysteine protease (caspase)-activating recruitment domain and pro-caspase1. Activation of the NLRP3-inflammasome causes the processing and release of the interleukin 1 beta (IL-1β) and interleukin 18 (IL-18). Based on this, we hypothesized that the NLRP3-inflammasome could participate in the inflammatory response following TBI. However, the expression of NLRP3-inflammasome in cerebral cortex after TBI is not well known. Rats were randomly divided into control, sham and TBI groups (including 6 h, 1 day, 3 day and 7 day sub-group). TBI model was induced, and animals were sacrificed at each time point respectively. The expression of NLRP3-inflammasome was measured by quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction, western blot and immunohistochemistry respectively. Immunofluorescent double labeling was performed to identify the cell types of NLRP3-inflammasome's expression. Moreover, enzyme linked immunosorbent assay was used to detect the alterations of IL-1β and IL-18 at each time point post-injury. The results showed that, TBI could induce assembly of NLRP3-inflammasome complex, increased expression of ASC, activation of caspase1, and processing of IL-1β and IL-18. These results suggested that NLRP3-inflammasome might play an important role in the inflammation induced by TBI and could be a target for TBI therapy.

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