The pathological role of NLRs and AIM2 inflammasome-mediated pyroptosis in damaged blood-brain barrier after traumatic brain injury.
Pyroptosis is a highly specific type of inflammatory programmed cell death that different from necrosis or apoptosis. It is initiated by cellular detection of acute damage via recognizing pathogen-associated molecular patterns (PAMPs) by NOD-like receptors (NLRs) or AIM2-like receptor (AIM2). NLRs and AIM2 could trigger the formation of a multi-protein complex, known as inflammasome. It also contains apoptotic speck-containing protein (ASC) and pro-Caspase-1, and could process the signals to induce a cascade of inflammatory response. Recently, growing evidence showed that inflammasome-mediated pyroptosis is involved in the pathogenesis of traumatic brain injury (TBI). However, less attention has been paid to their particular roles in regulating blood-brain barrier (BBB) damage, the central pathological change in secondary brain damage of TBI. Thus, we designed this research to explore the impact and mechanism of NLRs and AIM2 inflammasome-mediated pyroptosis in BBB after TBI. We employed the controlled cortical impact (CCI) mice model and manipulated the severity of pyroptosis in BBB using Caspase-1 inhibitor, Ac-YVAD-cmk. We found that TBI led to NLRs and AIM2 inflammasome-mediated pyroptosis in brain microvascular endothelial cells (BMVECs) from injured cerebral cortex. Ac-YVAD-cmk treatment inhibited pyroptosis in injured BMVECs by suppressing the expression of essential inflammasome subunit - Caspase-1 and pivotal downstream pro-inflammatory cytokines (IL-1β and IL-18), as well as hindering GSDMD cleavage and ASC oligomerization. In addition, inhibiting pyroptosis could alleviate TBI-induced BBB leakage, brain edema, loss of tight junction proteins, and the inflammatory response in injured BMVECs. These effects contributed to improving the neurological outcome of CCI mice. In conclusion, NLRs and AIM2 inflammasome-mediated pyroptosis could aggravate BBB damage after TBI. Targeting and controlling pyroptosis in injured BBB would be a promising therapeutic strategy for TBI in the future.
Ge, X; Li, W; Huang, S; Yin, Z; Xu, X; Chen, F; Kong, X; Wang, H; Zhang, J; Lei, P
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