Journal of neuroinflammation

Acid-sensing ion channel 1a contributes to the effect of extracellular acidosis on NLRP1 inflammasome activation in cortical neurons.

PMID 26715049


Acid-sensing ion channels (ASICs) are cation channels which were activated by extracellular acidosis and involved in various physiological and pathological processes in the nervous system. Inflammasome is a key component of the innate immune response in host against harmful and irritable stimuli. As the first discovered molecular platform, NLRP1 (nucleotide-binding oligomerization domain (NOD)-like receptor protein 1) inflammasome is expressed in neurons and implicated in many nervous system diseases such as brain injury, nociception and epilepsy. However, little is known about the effect of ASICs on NLRP1 inflammasome activation under acidosis. The expression of inflammasome complex protein (NLRP1, ASC (apoptosis-associated speck-like protein containing a caspase-activating recruitment domain) and caspase-1), inflammatory cytokines (IL-1β and IL-18), and apoptosis-related protein (Bax, Bcl-2, and activated caspase-3) was detected by Western blot. Large-conductance Ca(2+) and voltage-activated K(+) (BK) channel currents were recorded by whole-cell patch-clamp technology. Measurement of [K(+)] i was performed by fluorescent ion imaging system. Co-expression of ASICs and BK channels was determined by dual immunofluorescence. Cell viability was assessed by MTT and LDH kit. ASICs and BK channels were co-expressed in primary cultured cortical neurons. Extracellular acidosis increased the expression of NLRP1, ASC, caspase-1, IL-1β, and IL-18. Further mechanistic studies revealed that acidosis-induced ASIC1a activation results in the increase of BK channel currents, with the subsequent K(+) efflux and a low concentration of intracellular K(+), which activated NLRP1 inflammasome. Furthermore, these effects of acidosis could be blocked by specific ASIC1a inhibitor PcTX1 and BK channel inhibitor IbTX. The data also demonstrated neutralization of NLRP1-protected cortical neurons against injury induced by extracellular acidosis. Our data showed that NLRP1 inflammasome could be activated by extracellular acidosis though ASIC-BK channel K(+) signal pathway and was involved in extracellular acidosis-induced cortical neuronal injury.

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PBFI-AM, suitable for fluorescence, ≥98.0% (HPCE)