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Endocrinology. 2011 Oct;152(10):3769-78. doi: 10.1210/en.2010-1480. Epub 2011 Aug 23.

The inflammasome and caspase-1 activation: a new mechanism underlying increased inflammatory activity in human visceral adipose tissue.

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1
Department of General Internal Medicine, Radboud University Nijmegen Medical Centre, Internal Postal Code 463, Geert Grooteplein 8, 6500 HB Nijmegen, The Netherlands. t.koenen@aig.umcn.nl

Abstract

The immune competent abdominal adipose tissue, either stored viscerally [visceral adipose tissue (VAT)] or sc [sc adipose tissue (SAT)], has been identified as a source of IL-1β and IL-18. To become active, the proforms of these cytokines require processing by caspase-1, which itself is mediated by the inflammasome. In this descriptive study, we investigate the expression of inflammasome components and caspase-1 in human fat and determine whether caspase-1 activity contributes to the enhanced inflammatory status of VAT. Paired SAT and VAT biopsies from 10 overweight subjects (body mass index, 25-28 kg/m(2)) were used to study the cellular composition and the intrinsic inflammatory capacity of both adipose tissue depots. The percentage of CD8(+) T cells within the lymphocyte fraction was significantly higher in VAT compared with SAT (41.6 vs. 30.4%; P < 0.05). Adipose tissue cultures showed a higher release of IL-1β (10-fold; P < 0.05), IL-18 (3-fold; P < 0.05), and IL-6 and IL-8 (3-fold, P < 0.05; and 4-fold, P < 0.05, respectively) from VAT compared with SAT that was significantly reduced by inhibiting caspase-1 activity. In addition, caspase-1 activity was 3-fold (P < 0.05) higher in VAT compared with SAT, together with an increase in the protein levels of the inflammasome members apoptosis-associated speck-like protein containing a C-terminal caspase-recruitment domain (2-fold; P < 0.05) and nucleotide-binding oligomerization domain-like receptor pyrin domain containing 3 (2-fold; nonsignificant). Finally, caspase-1 activity levels were positively correlated with the percentage of CD8(+) T cells present in adipose tissue. Our results show that caspase-1 and nucleotide-binding oligomerization domain-like receptor pyrin domain containing 3 inflammasome members are abundantly present in human VAT. The increased intrinsic caspase-1 activity in VAT represents a novel and specific inflammatory pathway that may determine the proinflammatory character of this specific depot.

PMID:
21862623
DOI:
10.1210/en.2010-1480
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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