NLRP3 gene silencing ameliorates diabetic cardiomyopathy in a type 2 diabetes rat model

Beibei Luo, Bo Li, Wenke Wang, Xiangjuan Liu, Yanfei Xia, Cheng Zhang, Mingxiang Zhang, Yun Zhang, Fengshuang An
PloS One 2014, 9 (8): e104771

BACKGROUND: Nucleotide-binding oligomerization domain-like receptor protein 3 (NLRP3) inflammasome is associated with metabolic disorder and cell death, which are important triggers in diabetic cardiomyopathy (DCM). We aimed to explore whether NLRP3 inflammasome activation contributes to DCM and the mechanism involved.

METHODS: Type 2 diabetic rat model was induced by high fat diet and low dose streptozotocin. The characteristics of type 2 DCM were evaluated by metabolic tests, echocardiography and histopathology. Gene silencing therapy was used to investigate the role of NLRP3 in the pathogenesis of DCM. High glucose treated H9c2 cardiomyocytes were used to determine the mechanism by which NLRP3 modulated the DCM. The cell death in vitro was detected by TUNEL and EthD-III staining. TXNIP-siRNA and pharmacological inhibitors of ROS and NF-kB were used to explore the mechanism of NLRP3 inflammasome activation.

RESULTS: Diabetic rats showed severe metabolic disorder, cardiac inflammation, cell death, disorganized ultrastructure, fibrosis and excessive activation of NLRP3, apoptosis-associated speck-like protein containing a caspase recruitment domain (ASC), pro-caspase-1, activated caspase-1 and mature interleukin-1β (IL-1β). Evidence for pyroptosis was found in vivo, and the caspase-1 dependent pyroptosis was found in vitro. Silencing of NLRP3 in vivo did not attenuate systemic metabolic disturbances. However, NLRP3 gene silencing therapy ameliorated cardiac inflammation, pyroptosis, fibrosis and cardiac function. Silencing of NLRP3 in H9c2 cardiomyocytes suppressed pyroptosis under high glucose. ROS inhibition markedly decreased nuclear factor-kB (NF-kB) phosphorylation, thioredoxin interacting/inhibiting protein (TXNIP), NLRP3 inflammasome, and mature IL-1β in high glucose treated H9c2 cells. Inhibition of NF-kB reduced the activation of NLRP3 inflammasome. TXNIP-siRNA decreased the activation of caspase-1 and IL-1β.

CONCLUSION: NLRP3 inflammasome contributed to the development of DCM. NF-κB and TXNIP mediated the ROS-induced caspase-1 and IL-1β activation, which are the effectors of NLRP3 inflammasome. NLRP3 gene silencing may exert a protective effect on DCM.

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