Image_1_Mitochondrial DNA Promotes NLRP3 Inflammasome Activation and Contributes to Endothelial Dysfunction and Inflammation in Type 1 Diabetes.TIF (1.92 MB)
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posted on 17.01.2020, 09:38 authored by Camila A. Pereira, Daniela Carlos, Nathanne S. Ferreira, Josiane F. Silva, Camila Z. Zanotto, Dario S. Zamboni, Valéria D. Garcia, Dora Fix Ventura, João S. Silva, Rita C. Tostes

Background: NLRP3 inflammasome activation in response to several signals, including mitochondrial DNA (mDNA), regulates inflammatory responses by caspase-1 activation and interleukin-1β (IL-1β) release. Circulating mDNA is linked to micro and macrovascular complications in diabetes. However, a role for mDNA in endothelial dysfunction is not clear. We tested the hypothesis that mDNA contributes to diabetes-associated endothelial dysfunction and vascular inflammation via NLRP3 activation.

Methods: Vascular reactivity, reactive oxygen species (ROS) generation, calcium (Ca2+) influx and caspase-1 and IL-1β activation were determined in mesenteric resistance arteries from normoglicemic and streptozotocin-induced diabetic C57BL/6 and NLRP3 knockout (Nlrp3–/–) mice. Endothelial cells and mesenteric arteries were stimulated with mDNA from control (cmDNA) and diabetic (dmDNA) mice.

Results: Diabetes reduced endothelium-dependent vasodilation and increased vascular ROS generation and caspase-1 and IL-1β activation in C57BL/6, but not in Nlrp3–/– mice. Diabetes increased pancreatic cytosolic mDNA. dmDNA decreased endothelium-dependent vasodilation. In endothelial cells, dmDNA activated NLRP3 via mitochondrial ROS and Ca2+ influx. Patients with type 1 diabetes exhibited increased circulating mDNA as well as caspase-1 and IL-1β activation.

Conclusion: dmDNA activates endothelial NLRP3 inflammasome by mechanisms that involve Ca2+ influx and mitochondrial ROS generation. NLRP3 deficiency prevents diabetes-associated vascular inflammatory damage and endothelial dysfunction. Our study highlights the importance of NLRP3 inflammasome in diabetes-associated vascular dysfunction, which is key to diabetic complications.

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