NLRP3 inflammasome activation contributes to long-term behavioral alterations in mice injected with lipopolysaccharide

Wei Zhu, Feng Sheng Cao, Jun Feng, Hua Weng Chen, Jie Ru Wan, Qing Lu, Jian Wang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Lipopolysaccharide (LPS) might affect the central nervous system by causing neuroinflammation, which subsequently leads to brain damage and dysfunction. In this study, we evaluated the role of nod-like receptor pyrin domain-containing protein 3 (NLRP3) inflammasome activation in long-term behavioral alterations of 8-week-old male C57BL/6 mice injected intraperitoneally with LPS (5 mg/kg). At different time points after injection, we assessed locomotor function with a 24-point neurologic deficit scoring system and the rotarod test; assessed recognition memory with the novel object recognition test; and assessed emotional abnormality (anhedonia and behavioral despair) with the tail suspension test, forced swim test, and sucrose preference test. We also assessed protein expression of NLRP3, apoptosis-associated speck-like protein (ASC), and caspase-1 p10 in hippocampus by Western blotting; measured levels of interleukin (IL)-1β, IL-18, tumor necrosis factor α (TNFα), and IL-10 in hippocampus; measured TNFα and IL-1β in serum by ELISA; and evaluated microglial activity in hippocampus by Iba1 immunofluorescence. We found that LPS-injected mice displayed long-term depression-like behaviors and recognition memory deficit; elevated expression of NLRP3, ASC, and caspase-1 p10; increased levels of IL-1β, IL-18, and TNFα decreased levels of IL-10; and increased microglial activation. These effects were blocked by the NLRP3 inflammasome inhibitor Ac-Tyr-Val-Ala-Asp-chloromethylketone. The results demonstrate proof of concept that NLRP3 inflammasome activation contributes to long-term behavioral alterations in LPS-exposed mice, probably through enhanced inflammation, and that NLRP3 inflammasome inhibition might alleviate peripheral and brain inflammation and thereby ameliorate long-term behavioral alterations in LPS-exposed mice.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)77-84
Number of pages8
JournalNeuroscience
Volume343
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 20 2017

Keywords

  • LPS
  • NLRP3 inflammasome
  • depression
  • forced swim test
  • recognition memory
  • tail suspension test

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)

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