Cigarette smoke extract induces pyroptosis in human bronchial epithelial cells through the ROS/NLRP3/caspase-1 pathway.Life Sci. 2021 Mar 15; 269:119090.LS
Pyroptosis and inflammation are involved in the development of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). However, the cigarette smoke-mediated mechanism of COPD remains unclear. In this study, we aimed to investigate the role of nucleotide-binding domain-like receptor protein-3 (NLRP3) inflammasome-mediated pyroptosis in the death of human bronchial epithelial (HBE) cells after cigarette smoke extract (CSE) exposure.
The protein level of NLRP3 in lung tissue was measured after cigarette smoke exposure in vivo. In vitro, HBE cells were treated with CSE. Subsequently, the activity of caspase-1, lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) release, release of interleukin (IL)-1β and NLRP3 expression levels were measured. The involvement of reactive oxygen species (ROS) was also explored.
After exposure to CSE, increased release of LDH, the transcriptional and translational upregulation of NLRP3, the caspase-1 activity levels, and enhanced IL-1β and IL-18 release were observed in 16HBE cells. In addition, NLRP3 was required to activate the caspase-1. Our results suggested that pre-stimulated of 16HBE with a caspase-1 inhibitor, or using NLRP3 siRNA to silence NLRP3 expression, also caused the decrease of IL-1β release and pyroptosis.
CSE induced inflammation and contributed to pyroptosis through the ROS/NLRP3/caspase-1 pathway in 16HBE cells. The NLRP3 inflammasome participates in CSE-induced HBE cell damage and pyroptosis, which could provide new insights into COPD.