The Effects of IFN-β 1a on the Expression of Inflammasomes and Apoptosis-Associated Speck-Like Proteins in Multiple Sclerosis Patients

Saam Noroozi, Hossein Ali Ebrahimi Meimand, Mohammad Kazemi Arababadi, Nouzar Nakhaee, Gholamreza Asadikaram
Molecular Neurobiology 2017, 54 (4): 3031-3037
This study aims to evaluate the effects of treatment with IFN-β 1α on the expressions of NLRP3, NLRP1, NLRC4, and AIM2, as inflammasomes, and caspase-1, IL-1β, and IL-18, as the downstream molecules of inflammasomes, in a population of Iranian multiple sclerosis (MS) patients. In this study, 30 MS patients (22 women and 8 men) participated. Before receiving any medication and 6 months after treatment with standard doses of IFN-β 1α 30 mcg injected intramuscularly once a week, blood samples were taken and then the leukocytes isolated, total RNAs extracted, and complementary DNAs (cDNAs) synthesized. Gene expressions of NLRP3, NLRP1, NLRC4, AIM2, and ASC were evaluated at messenger RNA (mRNA) levels using real-time PCR method; for assessing caspase-1 at protein level, the Western blot method was used. The amounts of IL-1β and IL-18 were measured in plasma using enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay method. Analysis of the results before and after therapy with IFN-β 1α in all patients shows significantly decreased expressions of NLRP3, NLRC4, and AIM2. The plasma levels of IL-1β, after treatment with IFN-β 1α, were significantly decreased in the MS patients. Based on our results, it appears that NLRP3, NLRC4, and AIM2 play critical roles in the progression of MS, probably by mediating Th1 and Th17 responses. It seems that decreased expression of IL-1β is related to decreased production and also functions of inflammasomes.

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