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J Immunol. 2012 Mar 15;188(6):2884-93. doi: 10.4049/jimmunol.1102488. Epub 2012 Feb 8.

Analysis of NLRP3 in the development of allergic airway disease in mice.

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  • 1Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center, School of Medicine, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC 27599, USA.


The contribution of NLRP3, a member of the nucleotide-binding domain leucine-rich repeat-containing (NLR) family, to the development of allergic airway disease is currently controversial. In this study, we used multiple allergic asthma models to examine the physiologic role of NLRP3. We found no significant differences in airway eosinophilia, histopathologic condition, mucus production, and airway hyperresponsiveness between wild-type and Nlrp3(-/-) mice in either acute (alum-dependent) or chronic (alum-independent) OVA models. In addition to the OVA model, we did not detect a role for NLRP3 in the development of allergic airway disease induced by either acute or chronic house dust mite Ag exposure. Although we did not observe significant phenotypic differences in any of the models tested, we did note a significant reduction of IL-13 and IL-33 in Nlrp3(-/-) mice compared with wild-type controls in the chronic OVA model without added alum. In all of the allergic airway disease models, the NLRP3 inflammasome-associated cytokines IL-1β and IL-18 in the lung were below the level of detection. In sum, this report surveyed four different allergic asthma models and found a modest and selected role for NLRP3 in the alum-free OVA model. However, this difference did not greatly alter the clinical outcome of the disease. This finding suggests that the role of NLRP3 in allergic asthma must be re-evaluated.

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