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Reassessing the role of the NLRP3 inflammasome during pathogenic influenza A virus infection via temporal inhibition

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      Abstract

      The inflammasome NLRP3 is activated by pathogen associated molecular patterns (PAMPs) during infection, including RNA and proteins from influenza A virus (IAV). However, chronic activation by danger associated molecular patterns (DAMPs) can be deleterious to the host. We show that blocking NLRP3 activation can be either protective or detrimental at different stages of lethal influenza A virus (IAV). Administration of the specific NLRP3 inhibitor MCC950 to mice from one day following IAV challenge resulted in hypersusceptibility to lethality. In contrast, delaying treatment with MCC950 until the height of disease (a more likely clinical scenario) significantly protected mice from severe and highly virulent IAV-induced disease. These findings identify for the first time that NLRP3 plays a detrimental role later in infection, contributing to IAV pathogenesis through increased cytokine production and lung cellular infiltrates. These studies also provide the first evidence identifying NLRP3 inhibition as a novel therapeutic target to reduce IAV disease severity.

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      Most cited references 36

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      A small-molecule inhibitor of the NLRP3 inflammasome for the treatment of inflammatory diseases.

      The NOD-like receptor (NLR) family, pyrin domain-containing protein 3 (NLRP3) inflammasome is a component of the inflammatory process, and its aberrant activation is pathogenic in inherited disorders such as cryopyrin-associated periodic syndrome (CAPS) and complex diseases such as multiple sclerosis, type 2 diabetes, Alzheimer's disease and atherosclerosis. We describe the development of MCC950, a potent, selective, small-molecule inhibitor of NLRP3. MCC950 blocked canonical and noncanonical NLRP3 activation at nanomolar concentrations. MCC950 specifically inhibited activation of NLRP3 but not the AIM2, NLRC4 or NLRP1 inflammasomes. MCC950 reduced interleukin-1β (IL-1β) production in vivo and attenuated the severity of experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE), a disease model of multiple sclerosis. Furthermore, MCC950 treatment rescued neonatal lethality in a mouse model of CAPS and was active in ex vivo samples from individuals with Muckle-Wells syndrome. MCC950 is thus a potential therapeutic for NLRP3-associated syndromes, including autoinflammatory and autoimmune diseases, and a tool for further study of the NLRP3 inflammasome in human health and disease.
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        The NLRP3 inflammasome mediates in vivo innate immunity to influenza A virus through recognition of viral RNA.

        The nucleotide-binding domain and leucine-rich-repeat-containing (NLR) family of pattern-recognition molecules mediate host immunity to various pathogenic stimuli. However, in vivo evidence for the involvement of NLR proteins in viral sensing has not been widely investigated and remains controversial. As a test of the physiologic role of the NLR molecule NLRP3 during RNA viral infection, we explored the in vivo role of NLRP3 inflammasome components during influenza virus infection. Mice lacking Nlrp3, Pycard, or caspase-1, but not Nlrc4, exhibited dramatically increased mortality and a reduced immune response after exposure to the influenza virus. Utilizing analogs of dsRNA (poly(I:C)) and ssRNA (ssRNA40), we demonstrated that an NLRP3-mediated response could be activated by RNA species. Mechanistically, NLRP3 inflammasome activation by the influenza virus was dependent on lysosomal maturation and reactive oxygen species (ROS). Inhibition of ROS induction eliminated IL-1beta production in animals during influenza infection. Together, these data place the NLRP3 inflammasome as an essential component in host defense against influenza infection through the sensing of viral RNA.
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          Innate immunity to influenza virus infection.

          Influenza viruses are a major pathogen of both humans and animals. Recent studies using gene-knockout mice have led to an in-depth understanding of the innate sensors that detect influenza virus infection in a variety of cell types. Signalling downstream of these sensors induces distinct sets of effector mechanisms that block virus replication and promote viral clearance by inducing innate and adaptive immune responses. In this Review, we discuss the various ways in which the innate immune system uses pattern recognition receptors to detect and respond to influenza virus infection. We consider whether the outcome of innate sensor stimulation promotes antiviral resistance or disease tolerance, and propose rational treatment strategies for the acute respiratory disease that is caused by influenza virus infection.
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            Author and article information

            Affiliations
            [1 ]Centre for Innate Immunity and Infectious Diseases, Hudson Institute of Medical Research , Clayton, Victoria, Australia
            [2 ]Department of Molecular and Translational Sciences, Monash University , Clayton, Victoria, Australia
            [3 ]Department of Microbiology and Immunology at the Peter Doherty Institute for Infection and Immunity, University of Melbourne , Parkville, Victoria, Australia
            [4 ]Institute for Molecular Bioscience, University of Queensland , Brisbane, Australia
            [5 ]Institute of Innate Immunity, University Hospital, University of Bonn , Bonn, Germany
            [6 ]Department of Infectious Diseases and Immunology, University of Massachusetts Medical School , Worcester, Massachusetts, USA
            [7 ]German Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases , Bonn, Germany
            [8 ]Department of Pharmacology, Monash University , Clayton, Victoria, Australia
            Author notes
            Journal
            Sci Rep
            Sci Rep
            Scientific Reports
            Nature Publishing Group
            2045-2322
            10 June 2016
            2016
            : 6
            27283237
            4901306
            srep27912
            10.1038/srep27912
            Copyright © 2016, Macmillan Publishers Limited

            This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article’s Creative Commons license, unless indicated otherwise in the credit line; if the material is not included under the Creative Commons license, users will need to obtain permission from the license holder to reproduce the material. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/

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