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Nat Med. 2015 Mar;21(3):263-9. doi: 10.1038/nm.3804. Epub 2015 Feb 16.

The ketone metabolite β-hydroxybutyrate blocks NLRP3 inflammasome-mediated inflammatory disease.

Author information

  • 1Section of Comparative Medicine and Program on Integrative Cell Signaling and Neurobiology of Metabolism, Yale School of Medicine, New Haven, Connecticut, USA.
  • 2Department of Nutrition Sciences, Purdue University, West Lafayette, Indiana.
  • 3Laboratory of Molecular Biology and Immunology, National Institute on Aging, National Institutes of Health (NIH), Baltimore, Maryland, USA.
  • 4Department of Biomedical Engineering, Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut, USA.
  • 5Department of Molecular Pharmacology and Physiology, University of South Florida, Tampa, Florida, USA.
  • 6Department of Geology and Geophysics, Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut, USA.
  • 7Department of Immunology, St. Jude Children's Hospital, Memphis, Tennessee, USA.
  • 8Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Thomas Jefferson University, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA.
  • 9Diabetes and Obesity Research Center, Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute, Orlando, Florida, USA.
  • 101] Section of Comparative Medicine and Program on Integrative Cell Signaling and Neurobiology of Metabolism, Yale School of Medicine, New Haven, Connecticut, USA. [2] Department of Immunobiology, Yale School of Medicine, New Haven, Connecticut, USA.

Abstract

The ketone bodies β-hydroxybutyrate (BHB) and acetoacetate (AcAc) support mammalian survival during states of energy deficit by serving as alternative sources of ATP. BHB levels are elevated by starvation, caloric restriction, high-intensity exercise, or the low-carbohydrate ketogenic diet. Prolonged fasting reduces inflammation; however, the impact that ketones and other alternative metabolic fuels produced during energy deficits have on the innate immune response is unknown. We report that BHB, but neither AcAc nor the structurally related short-chain fatty acids butyrate and acetate, suppresses activation of the NLRP3 inflammasome in response to urate crystals, ATP and lipotoxic fatty acids. BHB did not inhibit caspase-1 activation in response to pathogens that activate the NLR family, CARD domain containing 4 (NLRC4) or absent in melanoma 2 (AIM2) inflammasome and did not affect non-canonical caspase-11, inflammasome activation. Mechanistically, BHB inhibits the NLRP3 inflammasome by preventing K(+) efflux and reducing ASC oligomerization and speck formation. The inhibitory effects of BHB on NLRP3 are not dependent on chirality or starvation-regulated mechanisms like AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK), reactive oxygen species (ROS), autophagy or glycolytic inhibition. BHB blocks the NLRP3 inflammasome without undergoing oxidation in the TCA cycle, and independently of uncoupling protein-2 (UCP2), sirtuin-2 (SIRT2), the G protein-coupled receptor GPR109A or hydrocaboxylic acid receptor 2 (HCAR2). BHB reduces NLRP3 inflammasome-mediated interleukin (IL)-1β and IL-18 production in human monocytes. In vivo, BHB or a ketogenic diet attenuates caspase-1 activation and IL-1β secretion in mouse models of NLRP3-mediated diseases such as Muckle-Wells syndrome, familial cold autoinflammatory syndrome and urate crystal-induced peritonitis. Our findings suggest that the anti-inflammatory effects of caloric restriction or ketogenic diets may be linked to BHB-mediated inhibition of the NLRP3 inflammasome.

PMID:
25686106
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC4352123
Free PMC Article
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