Role of ASM/Cer/TXNIP Signaling Module in the NLRP3 Inflammasome Activation
Background: The NLRP3 inflammasome serves as a crucial component in an array of inflammatory conditions by boosting the secretion of pro-inflammatory cytokines: IL-1β and IL-18. Hence, a thorough investigation of the underlying mechanism of NLRP3 activation could ascertain the requisite directionality to the ongoing studies, along with the identification of the novel drug targets for the management of inflammatory diseases. Previous studies have established the vital role of the Acid
... the Acid sphingomyelinase (ASM)/Ceramide (Cer) pathway in the functional outcome of cells, with a particular emphasis on the inflammatory processes. ASM mediates the ceramide production by sphingomyelin hydrolysis. Furthermore, the participation of the ASM/Cer in NLRP3 activation remains ambiguous. Methods: We employed lipopoysaccharide (LPS)/Adenosine Triphosphate (ATP)-induced activation of NLRP3 inflammasome in J774A.1 cells as an in vitro inflammatory model. Results: We observed that imipramine, a well-known inhibitor of ASM, significantly inhibited ASM activity & increased ceramide accumulation, which indicates ASM activation. Besides, it also suppressed the LPS/ATP-induced expression of proteins and mRNA: Thioredoxin interacting protein (TXNIP), NLRP3, Caspase-1, IL-1β and IL-18. Interestingly verapamil, a TXNIP inhibitor, suppressed LPS/ATP-induced TXNIP/NLRP3 inflammasome activation; however, it did not affect LPS/ATP-induced ASM activity and ceramide production. Further examination showed that the exogenous C2-ceramide-treated J774A.1 cells induce the overexpression of TXNIP, NLRP3, Caspase-1, IL-1β, and IL-18. Furthermore, verapamil inhibited C2-Ceramide mediated TXNIP overexpression and NLRP3 inflammasome activation. These findings infer that TXNIP overexpression leads to Cer mediated NLRP3 inflammasome activation. Conclusion: Our study validated the crucial role of the ASM/Cer/TXNIP signaling pathway in NLRP3 inflammasome activation.