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Hum Gene Ther. 2011 Jul;22(7):853-64. doi: 10.1089/hum.2010.145. Epub 2011 Mar 7.

Gene silencing of NALP3 protects against liver ischemia-reperfusion injury in mice.

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Department of Immunology, Tongji Medical College, Huazhong University of Science and Technology, Wuhan 430030, China.


Liver ischemia-reperfusion (I/R) injury is a multifactorial process that affects graft function after liver transplantation. Inflammatory cytokines, such as tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α, interleukin (IL)-6, IL-1β, and IL-18, have been shown to play key roles in the pathophysiology of liver I/R injury. Studies have indicated that NALP3 (NACHT domain, leucine-rich repeat [LRR] domain, and pyrin domain [PYD]-containing protein-3) inflammasome is pivotal in the processing and releasing of IL-1β and IL-18. The aim of this study was to test whether NALP3 silencing has a protective effect in murine liver I/R injury. Using a partial lobar liver warm ischemia model, mice were hydrodynamically injected with pNALP3shRNA, pshRNANC, or saline 48 hr before ischemia. Those mice pretreated with pNALP3shRNA showed decreased serum alanine aminotransferase levels; inhibited production of proinflammatory cytokines such as IL-1β, IL-18, TNF-α, and IL-6 by downregulation of caspase-1 activation and NF-κB activity; as well as decreased release of HMGB1 (high-mobility group box-1) and inflammatory cell infiltration, leading to the prevention of liver I/R injury, when compared with controls. Histology revealed that pretreatment with pNALP3shRNA significantly ameliorated hepatocellular damage after I/R. Thus, by using a small hairpin RNA approach, our study confirms that NALP3 signaling is involved in liver I/R and that silencing of NALP3 can protect the liver from I/R injury by reducing IL-1β, IL-18, TNF-α, IL-6, and HMGB1 release through downregulation of caspase-1 activation and NF-κB activity.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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