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Physiol Rep. 2019 May;7(9):e14073. doi: 10.14814/phy2.14073.

NLRP3 inflammasome activation in platelets in response to sepsis.

Author information

1
Department of Emergency Medicine, University of Mississippi Medical Center, Jackson, Mississippi.
2
Department of Pharmacology, University of Mississippi Medical Center, Jackson, Mississippi.
3
Cardiovascular Renal-Research Center, University of Mississippi Medical Center, Jackson, Mississippi.

Abstract

Sepsis is a complex syndrome characterized by organ dysfunction and a dysregulated immune host response to infection. There is currently no effective treatment for sepsis, but platelets have been proposed as a potential therapeutic target for the treatment of sepsis. We hypothesized that the NLRP3 inflammasome is activated in platelets during sepsis and may be associated with multiorgan injury in response to polymicrobial sepsis. Polymicrobial sepsis was induced by cecal ligation and puncture (CLP) in 12- to 13-week-old male Sprague-Dawley rats. The necrotic cecum was removed at 24 h post-CLP. At 72 h post-CLP, activated platelets were significantly increased in CLP versus Sham rats. Colocalization of NLRP3 inflammasome components was observed in platelets from CLP rats at 72 h post-CLP. Plasma, pulmonary, and renal levels of IL-1β and IL-18 were significantly higher in CLP rats compared to Sham controls. Soluble markers of endothelial permeability were increased in CLP versus Sham. Renal and pulmonary histopathology were markedly elevated in CLP rats compared to Sham controls. NLRP3 is activated in platelets in response to CLP and is associated with inflammation, endothelial permeability and multiorgan injury. Our results indicate that activated platelets may play a role to cause multiorgan injury in sepsis and may have therapeutic potential for the treatment of sepsis multiorgan injury.

KEYWORDS:

Endothelial permeability; NLRP3; inflammation; multiorgan injury; platelets; sepsis

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