Investigating Markers of the NLRP3 Inflammasome Pathway in Alzheimer’s Disease: A Human Post-Mortem Study

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Neuroinflammatory mechanisms with glial cell activation have been implicated in the pathogenic process of Alzheimer’s disease (AD). Activation of the NLRP3 inflammasome is an essential component of the neuroinflammatory response. A role for NLRP3 activation in AD is supported by both in vitro and in vivo preclinical studies with little direct investigation of AD brain tissue. RNA expression of genes of three glial cell markers, HLA-DRA, AIF-1 and GFAP; the components of the NLRP3 inflammasome NLRP3, ASC, and caspase-1; and downstream pre-inflammatory cytokines IL-1 β and IL-18, were investigated in the temporal cortex of AD patients and age- and sex-matched controls. Protein expression of GFAP was also assessed. Increases in both mRNA and protein expression were observed for GFAP in AD. There were no significant changes in other NLRP3 activation markers between groups. Our results indicate the involvement of astrocyte activation in AD, particularly in more severe patients. We found no evidence for the specific involvement of the NLRP3 inflammasome.

Bibliographical metadata

Original languageEnglish
Article number1753
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 30 Oct 2021