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MCC950 alleviates seizure severity and angiogenesis by inhibiting NLRP3/ IL-1β signaling pathway-mediated pyroptosis in mouse model of epilepsy.

Epilepsy is one of the most common serious chronic brain disorders, affecting up to 70 million people worldwide. Vascular disruption, including blood-brain barrier impairment and pathological angiogenesis, exacerbates its occurrence. However, its underlying mechanisms remain elusive. MCC950 is a specific small-molecule inhibitor that selectively blocks NLRP3 inflammatory vesicle activation across the blood-brain barrier, limits downstream IL-1β maturation and release, and exerts therapeutic effects across multiple diseases. In the present study, an epilepsy model was established by intraperitoneal administration of Kainic acid to adult male C57BL/6J wild-type mice. The results revealed that the epilepsy susceptibility of MCC950-treated mice was decreased, and neural damage following seizure episodes was reduced. In addition, immunofluorescence staining, RT-qPCR, and Western blot demonstrated that MCC950 inhibited the expression of the NLRP3 inflammasome and its related proteins in microglia, whereas microangiogenesis was found to be increased in the cerebral cortex and hippocampus of epileptic mice, and these effects could be reversed by MCC950. Furthermore, neurobehavioral impairment was observed in the epileptic mouse model, and MCC950 similarly alleviated the aforementioned pathological process. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first study to establish that pathological microangiogenesis is associated with NLRP3/IL-1β signaling pathway activation in a Kainic acid-induced epilepsy mouse model and that MCC950 administration attenuates the above-mentioned pathological changes and exerts neuroprotective effects. Therefore, MCC950 is a promising therapeutic agent for the treatment of epilepsy.

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