Cell Death Dis . 2014 Aug 21;5(8):e1382.

Amyloid-β induces NLRP1-dependent neuronal pyroptosis in models of Alzheimer’s disease

M-S Tan  1 L Tan  2 T Jiang  3 X-C Zhu  3 H-F Wang  3 C-D Jia  4 J-T Yu  5

Affiliations

  • 1 Department of Neurology, Qingdao Municipal Hospital, College of Medicine and Pharmaceutics, Ocean University of China, Qingdao, China.
  • 2 1] Department of Neurology, Qingdao Municipal Hospital, College of Medicine and Pharmaceutics, Ocean University of China, Qingdao, China [2] Department of Neurology, Qingdao Municipal Hospital, School of Medicine, Qingdao University, Qingdao, China [3] Department of Neurology, Qingdao Municipal Hospital, Nanjing Medical University, Qingdao, China.
  • 3 Department of Neurology, Qingdao Municipal Hospital, Nanjing Medical University, Qingdao, China.
  • 4 Chemical Sciences Division, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Oak Ridge, TN 37831, USA.
  • 5 1] Department of Neurology, Qingdao Municipal Hospital, College of Medicine and Pharmaceutics, Ocean University of China, Qingdao, China [2] Department of Neurology, Qingdao Municipal Hospital, School of Medicine, Qingdao University, Qingdao, China [3] Department of Neurology, Qingdao Municipal Hospital, Nanjing Medical University, Qingdao, China [4] Department of Neurology, Memory and Aging Center, University of California, San Francisco, CA, USA.

Abstract

Increasing evidence has shown the aberrant expression of inflammasome-related proteins in Alzheimer’s disease (AD) brain; these proteins, including NLRP1 inflammasome, are implicated in the execution of inflammatory response and pyroptotic death. Although current data are associated NLRP1 genetic variants with AD, the involvement of NLRP1 inflammasome in AD pathogenesis is still unknown. Using APPswe/PS1dE9 transgenic mice, we found that cerebral NLRP1 levels were upregulated. Our in vitro studies further showed that increased NLRP1-mediated caspase-1-dependent ‘pyroptosis’ in cultured cortical neurons in response to amyloid-β. Moreover, we employed direct in vivo infusion of non-viral small-interfering RNA to knockdown NLRP1 or caspase-1 in APPswe/PS1dE9 brain, and discovered that these NLRP1 or caspase-1 deficiency mice resulted in significantly reduced neuronal pyroptosis and reversed cognitive impairments. Taken together, our findings indicate an important role for NLRP1/caspase-1 signaling in AD progression, and point to the modulation of NLRP1 inflammasome as a promising strategy for AD therapy.

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