The platelet NLRP3 inflammasome is upregulated in sickle cell disease via HMGB1/TLR4 and Bruton tyrosine kinase.
Authors of this article are:
Vogel S, Arora T, Wang X, Mendelsohn L, Nichols J, Allen D, Shet AS, Combs CA, Quezado ZMN, Thein SL.
A summary of the article is shown below:
A key inflammatory mechanism recently identified in platelets involves the Nod-like receptor nucleotide-binding domain leucine-rich repeat containing protein 3 (NLRP3) and Bruton tyrosine kinase (BTK), which control activation of caspase-1 within inflammasome complexes. We investigated platelet caspase-1 activity in the context of sickle cell disease (SCD) directly in platelets isolated from SCD patients (n = 24) and indirectly by incubating platelets from healthy subjects with plasma obtained from SCD patients (n = 20), both in steady state and during an acute pain crisis (paired samples). The platelet NLRP3 inflammasome was upregulated in SCD patients under steady state conditions compared with healthy controls, and it was further upregulated when patients experienced an acute pain crisis. The results were consistent with indirect platelet assays, in which SCD plasma increased caspase-1 activity of platelets from healthy subjects in an NLRP3-dependent fashion. The damage-associated molecular pattern molecule high-mobility group box 1 (HMGB1) was elevated in plasma of SCD subjects compared with healthy controls and correlated with caspase-1 activity in platelets. Pharmacological or antibody-mediated inhibition of HMGB1, Toll-like receptor 4, and BTK interfered with sickle plasma-induced platelet caspase-1 activation. In Townes SCD mice, caspase-1 activity and aggregation of circulating platelets were elevated, which was suppressed by IV injection of an NLRP3 inhibitor and the BTK inhibitor ibrutinib. Activation of the platelet NLRP3 inflammasome in SCD may have diagnostic and therapeutic implications.
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