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Mechanism of Kruppel-Like Factor 4 in Pyroptosis of Nasal Mucosal Epithelial Cells in Mice With Allergic Rhinitis.

BACKGROUND: Allergic rhinitis (AR) is a chronic nasal inflammation, characterized by nasal epithelial dysfunction. Gene therapy targeting transcription factors is a promising strategy for quenching allergic inflammation, including AR.

OBJECTIVE: This study sought to probe the mechanism of Kruppel-like factor 4 (KLF4) in pyroptosis of nasal mucosal epithelial cells (NEpCs) in AR mice and provide targets for AR treatment.

METHODS: AR mouse models were established using sensitization with ovalbumin, followed by injection with short hairpin RNA KLF4 (sh-KLF4). AR symptoms were assessed by the times of sneezing and nose rubbing, hematoxylin-eosin, and periodic acid-Schiff staining. Levels of KLF4, nucleotide-binding oligomerization domain-like receptor family pyrin domain containing 3 (NLRP3), cleaved caspase-1, and N-terminal domain (GSDMD-N) in nasal mucosal tissues were determined by Western blot assay, and levels of interleukin (IL)-1β and IL-18 in nasal lavage fluid were determined by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. The binding of KLF4 to the NLRP3 promoter was verified using chromatin immunoprecipitation and dual-luciferase assays. The functional rescue experiment was performed with oe-NLRP3 and sh-KLF4 in AR mice.

RESULTS: KLF4 was upregulated in nasal mucosal tissues of AR mice. KLF4 inhibition reduced the times of sneezing and nose rubbing, inflammatory cell infiltration, and goblet cell hyperplasia in nasal mucosal tissues, and levels of NLRP3, cleaved caspase-1, GSDMD-N, IL-1β, and IL-18. KLF4 was enriched on the NLRP3 promoter and improved NLRP3 expression. NLRP3 overexpression reversed the inhibition of sh-KLF4 on pyroptosis of NEpCs in AR mice.

CONCLUSION: KLF4 bound to the NLRP3 promoter and promoted pyroptosis of NEpCs in AR mice via activating NLRP3.

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