© He et al. NOD-like receptor (NLR) NLRP3 inflammasome activation has been implicated in the progression of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) from non-alcoholic fatty liver (NAFL) to non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH). It has been also shown that palmitic acid (PA) activates NLRP3 inflammasome and promotes interleukin-1β (IL-1β) secretion in Kupffer cells (KCs). However, the specific mechanism of the NLRP3 inflammasome activation is unclear. We studies the molecular mechanisms by investigating the roles of Thioredoxin-interacting protein (TXNIP) and NLRP3 on NAFLD development in patients, high-fat diet (HFD)-induced NAFL and methionine choline deficient (MCD) diet-induced NASH in wild type (WT), TXNIP -/- (thioredoxin-interacting protein) and NLRP3 -/- mice, and isolated KCs. We found that the expressions of NLRP3 and TXNIP in human liver tissues were higher in NASH group than in NAFL group. Furthermore, co-immunoprecipitation analyses show that activation of the TXNIP-NLRP3 inflammasome protein complex occurred in KCs of NASH WT mice rather than NAFL WT mice, thus suggesting that the formation and activation of this protein complex is mainly involved in the development of NASH. NLRP3 -/- mice exhibited less severe NASH than WT mice in MCD diet model, whereas TXNIP deficiency enhanced NLRP3 inflammasome activation and exacerbated liver injury. PA triggered the activation and co-localization of the NLRP3 inflammasome protein complex in KCs isolated from WT and TXNIP -/- but not NLRP3 -/- mice, and most of the complex co-localized with mitochondria of KCs following PA stimulation. Taken together, our novel findings indicate that TXNIP plays a protective and anti-inflammatory role in the development of NAFLD through binding and suppressing NLRP3.
He, K., Zhu, X., Liu, Y., Miao, C., Wang, T., Li, P., … Gong, J. (2017). Inhibition of NLRP3 inflammasome by thioredoxin-interacting protein in mouse Kupffer cells as a regulatory mechanism for non-alcoholic fatty liver disease development. Oncotarget, 8(23). https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.17489