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      Eldecalcitol Inhibits LPS-Induced NLRP3 Inflammasome-Dependent Pyroptosis in Human Gingival Fibroblasts by Activating the Nrf2/HO-1 Signaling Pathway


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          Periodontitis is a major chronic oral disease that is accelerated by activation of the NLRP3 inflammasome and the resulting pyroptosis. According to recent studies, active vitamin D and its analogs have been reported to have great anti-inflammatory effects. However, the anti-inflammatory mechanism of a newly found vitamin D analog, eldecalcitol (ED-71), is still unclear. This study investigates whether ED-71 could protect human gingival fibroblasts (HGFs) from LPS-induced pyroptosis and, if so, determine its underlying mechanism.


          After HGFs were treated with LPS alone or with LPS and ED-71, their viability was measured by CCK8 assay. The degrees of inflammation and pyroptosis were measured via LDH assay, H 2O 2 assay, fluorescent staining, flow cytometry, and Western blots. Intracellular ROS, Hoechst 33,342, and PI stains were assessed with a fluorescence microscope. ROS inhibitor NAC, NLRP3 inhibitor MCC950, and Nrf2 inhibitor ML385 were added to further clarify the mechanism.


          LPS induced cytotoxicity in HGFs, as shown by CCK8 assay. LPS also increased intracellular ROS, H 2O 2 levels, release of LDH, and expression of the pyroptosis-related proteins NLRP3, caspase-1, and IL-1β. NAC and MCC950 reduced LPS-induced NLRP3, caspase-1, and IL-1β. Pretreatment with ED-71 effectively inhibited the LPS-induced pyroptosis and was associated with activation of the Nrf2/HO-1 signaling pathway. This beneficial effect of ED-71 was suppressed by ML385.


          This study demonstrates the therapeutic effect of ED-71 on LPS-induced NLRP3 inflammasome-dependent pyroptosis in HGFs and further reveals that ED-71 can inhibit pyroptosis by activating the Nrf2/HO-1 pathway. Our results thus suggest that ED-71 is a potential candidate for the treatment of periodontitis.

          Most cited references46

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          Chemotherapy drugs induce pyroptosis through caspase-3 cleavage of a Gasdermin

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            Inflammasomes: mechanism of action, role in disease, and therapeutics.

            The inflammasomes are innate immune system receptors and sensors that regulate the activation of caspase-1 and induce inflammation in response to infectious microbes and molecules derived from host proteins. They have been implicated in a host of inflammatory disorders. Recent developments have greatly enhanced our understanding of the molecular mechanisms by which different inflammasomes are activated. Additionally, increasing evidence in mouse models, supported by human data, strongly implicates an involvement of the inflammasome in the initiation or progression of diseases with a high impact on public health, such as metabolic disorders and neurodegenerative diseases. Finally, recent developments pointing toward promising therapeutics that target inflammasome activity in inflammatory diseases have been reported. This review will focus on these three areas of inflammasome research.
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              Role of Nrf2/HO-1 system in development, oxidative stress response and diseases: an evolutionarily conserved mechanism

              The multifunctional regulator nuclear factor erythroid 2-related factor (Nrf2) is considered not only as a cytoprotective factor regulating the expression of genes coding for anti-oxidant, anti-inflammatory and detoxifying proteins, but it is also a powerful modulator of species longevity. The vertebrate Nrf2 belongs to Cap ‘n’ Collar (Cnc) bZIP family of transcription factors and shares a high homology with SKN-1 from Caenorhabditis elegans or CncC found in Drosophila melanogaster. The major characteristics of Nrf2 are to some extent mimicked by Nrf2-dependent genes and their proteins including heme oxygenase-1 (HO-1), which besides removing toxic heme, produces biliverdin, iron ions and carbon monoxide. HO-1 and their products exert beneficial effects through the protection against oxidative injury, regulation of apoptosis, modulation of inflammation as well as contribution to angiogenesis. On the other hand, the disturbances in the proper HO-1 level are associated with the pathogenesis of some age-dependent disorders, including neurodegeneration, cancer or macular degeneration. This review summarizes our knowledge about Nrf2 and HO-1 across different phyla suggesting their conservative role as stress-protective and anti-aging factors.

                Author and article information

                Drug Des Devel Ther
                Drug Des Devel Ther
                Drug Design, Development and Therapy
                13 November 2020
                : 14
                : 4901-4913
                [1 ]Department of Bone Metabolism, School and Hospital of Stomatology, Cheeloo College of Medicine, Shandong University & Shandong Key Laboratory of Oral Tissue Regeneration & Shandong Engineering Laboratory for Dental Materials and Oral Tissue Regeneration , Jinan 250012, People’s Republic of China
                Author notes
                Correspondence: Minqi Li Department of Bone Metabolism, School and Hospital of Stomatology, Cheeloo College of Medicine, Shandong University & Shandong Key Laboratory of Oral Tissue Regeneration & Shandong Engineering Laboratory for Dental Materials and Oral Tissue Regeneration , Jinan250012, ChinaTel +86-531-88382095 Email liminqi@sdu.edu.cn
                © 2020 Huang et al.

                This work is published and licensed by Dove Medical Press Limited. The full terms of this license are available at https://www.dovepress.com/terms.php and incorporate the Creative Commons Attribution – Non Commercial (unported, v3.0) License ( http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/). By accessing the work you hereby accept the Terms. Non-commercial uses of the work are permitted without any further permission from Dove Medical Press Limited, provided the work is properly attributed. For permission for commercial use of this work, please see paragraphs 4.2 and 5 of our Terms ( https://www.dovepress.com/terms.php).

                : 02 July 2020
                : 23 October 2020
                Page count
                Figures: 6, References: 46, Pages: 13
                Original Research

                Pharmacology & Pharmaceutical medicine
                Pharmacology & Pharmaceutical medicine
                hgfs, pyroptosis, nlrp3, ed-71, nrf2/ho-1


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