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    Hypoxia, IL-1β production and oxidative stress are involved in islet graft dysfunction and destruction. However, the link between these events has not yet been determined in transplanted islets. The goal of this study was to determine whether NLRP3 inflammasome is responsible for IL-1β production and if it is activated by hypoxia-induced oxidative stress in transplanted islets. Rat islets were transplanted under the kidney capsule of immunodeficient mice. At different times post-transplantation, blood samples were collected and islet grafts harvested. Rat islets were also incubated in vitro either under normoxia or hypoxia for 24 h, in the absence or presence of inhibitors of NLRP3 inflammasome (CASP1 inhibitor) or oxidative stress (NAC). NLRP3, CASP1, IL1B, BBC3 pro-apoptotic and BCL2 anti-apoptotic genes in transplanted and in vitro incubated islets were then studied using real time PCR. IL-1β released in the blood and in the supernatant was quantified by ELISA. Cell death was analysed by propidium iodide and Annexin-V staining. NLRP3, CASP1 and BBC3 in transplanted rat islets and IL-1β in blood transiently increased during the first days after transplantation. In islets incubated under hypoxia, NRLP3, IL1B and CASP1 and IL-1β released in supernatant increased compared to islets incubated under normoxia. These effects were prevented by the inhibition of NLRP3 inflammasome by CASP1 or oxidative stress by NAC. However, these inhibitors did not prevent hypoxia-induced rat islet death. These data show that NLRP3 inflammasome in rat islets is transiently activated after their transplantation and induced through oxidative stress in vitro. However, NRLP3 inflammasome inhibition does not protect islet cells against hypoxia.


    Vanessa Lavallard, David Cottet-Dumoulin, Charles-Henri Wassmer, Caroline Rouget, Géraldine Parnaud, Estelle Brioudes, Fanny Lebreton, Kevin Bellofatto, Ekaterine Berishvili, Thierry Berney, Domenico Bosco. NLRP3 Inflammasome is Activated in Rat Pancreatic Islets by Transplantation and Hypoxia. Scientific reports. 2020 Apr 24;10(1):7011

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    PMID: 32332867

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