Silica-induced NLRP3 inflammasome activation in vitro and in rat lungs

P.M. Peeters, I.M.J. Eurlings, T.N. Perkins, E.F. Wouters, R.P.F. Schins, P.J.A. Borm, W. Drommer, N.L. Reynaert, C. Albrecht

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Abstract

Rationale: Mineral particles in the lung cause inflammation and silicosis. In myeloid and bronchial epithelial cells the inflammasome plays a role in responses to crystalline silica. Thioredoxin (TRX) and its inhibitory protein TRX-interacting protein link oxidative stress with inflammasome activation. We investigated inflammasome activation by crystalline silica polymorphs and modulation by TRX in vitro, as well as its localization and the importance of silica surface reactivity in rats.

Methods: We exposed bronchial epithelial cells and differentiated macrophages to silica polymorphs quartz and cristobalite and measured caspase-1 activity as well as the release of IL-1 beta, bFGF and HMGB1; including after TRX overexpression or treatment with recombinant TRX. Rats were intratracheally instilled with vehicle control, Dorentruper quartz (DQ12) or DQ12 coated with polyvinylpyridine N-oxide. At days 3, 7, 28, 90, 180 and 360 five animals per treatment group were sacrificed. Hallmarks of silicosis were assessed with Haematoxylin-eosin and Sirius Red stainings. Caspase-1 activity in the bronchoalveolar lavage and caspase-1 and IL-1 beta localization in lung tissue were determined using Western blot and immunohistochemistry (IHC).

Results: Silica polymorphs triggered secretion of IL-1 beta, bFGF and HMGB1 in a surface reactivity dependent manner. Inflammasome readouts linked with caspase-1 enzymatic activity were attenuated by TRX overexpression or treatment. At day 3 and 7 increased caspase-1 activity was detected in BALF of the DQ12 group and increased levels of caspase-1 and IL-1 beta were observed with IHC in the DQ12 group compared to controls. DQ12 exposure revealed silicotic nodules at 180 and 360 days. Particle surface modification markedly attenuated the grade of inflammation and lymphocyte influx and attenuated the level of inflammasome activation, indicating that the development of silicosis and inflammasome activation is determined by crystalline silica surface reactivity.

Conclusion: Our novel data indicate the pivotal role of surface reactivity of crystalline silica to activate the inflammasome in cultures of both epithelial cells and macrophages. Inhibitory capacity of the antioxidant TRX to inflammasome activation was evidenced. DQ12 quartz exposure induced acute and chronic functional activation of the inflammasome in the heterogeneous cell populations of the lung in associated with its crystalline surface reactivity.

Original languageEnglish
Article number58
Number of pages15
JournalParticle and Fibre Toxicology
Volume11
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 19 Nov 2014

Keywords

  • Crystalline silica
  • NLRP3 inflammasome
  • Caspase 1
  • IL-1 beta
  • HMGB1
  • bFGF
  • TRX
  • PVNO
  • COAL-WORKERS PNEUMOCONIOSIS
  • EPITHELIAL-CELLS
  • NALP3 INFLAMMASOME
  • SURFACE REACTIVITY
  • DNA-DAMAGE
  • PULMONARY INFLAMMATION
  • AMORPHOUS SILICA
  • QUARTZ
  • ASBESTOS
  • FIBROSIS

Cite this

Peeters, P. M., Eurlings, I. M. J., Perkins, T. N., Wouters, E. F., Schins, R. P. F., Borm, P. J. A., Drommer, W., Reynaert, N. L., & Albrecht, C. (2014). Silica-induced NLRP3 inflammasome activation in vitro and in rat lungs. Particle and Fibre Toxicology, 11(1), [58]. https://doi.org/10.1186/s12989-014-0058-0