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Nanotoxicology. 2015;9(5):554-67. doi: 10.3109/17435390.2014.956156. Epub 2014 Sep 11.

Nanosilica-induced placental inflammation and pregnancy complications: Different roles of the inflammasome components NLRP3 and ASC.

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Division of Inflammation Research .


Despite the increasing commercial use of nanoparticles, little is known about their effects on placental inflammation and pregnancy complications. In this study, nanosilica (NS) particles upregulated the inflammasome component nucleotide-binding oligomerization domain-like receptor (NLR) family pyrin domain-containing 3 (NLRP3) and induced placental inflammation and reactive oxygen species (ROS) generation, resulting in pregnancy complications. Furthermore, NS-induced pregnancy complications were markedly improved in Nlrp3(-/-) mice but not in component apoptosis-associated speck-like protein containing a caspase recruitment domain (ASC)-deficient (Asc(-/-)) mice, indicating the independence of NLRP3 inflammasomes. Pregnancy complications in Nlrp3(-/-) and Asc(-/-) mice phenotypes were dependent on the balance between interleukin (IL)-1α and IL-10. NS-induced pregnancy complications were completely prevented by either inhibition of ROS generation or forced expression of IL-10. Our findings provide important information about NS-induced placental inflammation and pregnancy complications and the novel pathophysiological roles of NLRP3 and ASC in pregnancy.


Cytokines; inflammasomes; interleukin; reactive oxygen species

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