Article Abstract

MicroRNA-155 promotes the ox-LDL-induced activation of NLRP3 inflammasomes via the ERK1/2 pathway in THP-1 macrophages and aggravates atherosclerosis in ApoE−/− mice

Authors: Ruihua Yin, Xiaoyan Zhu, Jing Wang, Shaonan Yang, Aijun Ma, Qi Xiao, Jinyang Song, Xudong Pan

Abstract

Background: Nucleotide-binding oligomerization domain-like receptor protein 3 (NLRP3) inflammasome activation can induce the secretion of IL-1β and IL-18 and after promoting the development of atherosclerosis. MiR-155 is an important microRNA that modulates inflammation in atherosclerosis, but the role of miR-155 in the regulation of the NLRP3 inflammasome is still unknown.
Methods: The atherosclerosis model was set up using ApoE−/− mice, and the lentiviral vector (LV) was used to interfere the expression of miR-155. HE stains was used for plaque morphology, immunohistochemistry (IHC) and western blot were used for protein expression quantification. We used oxidized low-density lipoprotein (ox- LDL) to incubate PMA-preprocessed THP-1 macrophages and detected NLRP3 inflammasome activation and ERK1/2 phosphorylation by western blot and Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay.
Results: HE stains showed that the intravascular plaques in the miR-155-up group were remarkably increased, compared with negative control (NC) group. Results of IHC showed that the expression of caspase-1 and IL-1β in the miR-155-up group was the highest of four groups, consist with the Western blot analysis. The results of in vitro experiment show that ox-LDL promoted NLRP3 inflammasome activation and ERK1/2 phosphorylation. Blocking the ERK1/2 pathway could inhibit ox-LDL-induced NLRP3 inflammasome activation. Moreover, we found that the overexpression of miR-155 promoted the activation of the ox-LDL-induced NLRP3 inflammasome, which could also be blocked by the ERK inhibitor U0126.
Conclusions: MiR-155 aggravates the carotid AS lesion in ApoE−/− mice and exerts a regulatory effect on NLRP3 inflammasome activation in ox-LDL-induced macrophages via the ERK1/2 pathway.