Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications, Vol.521, No.3, 791-798, 2020
NLRP3 inflammasome negatively regulates podocyte autophagy in diabetic nephropathy
Inflammasome mechanisms are recognized as a key pathophysiology of diabetic nephropathy (DN). The nucleotide-oligomerization domain-like receptor 3 (NLRP3) inflammasome has attracted the most attention. Autophagy as a conserved intracellular catabolic pathway plays essential roles in the maintenance of podocytes. Although autophagy was involved in preventing excessive inflammatory responses in kidney diseases, a clear understanding of the regulation of NLRP3 inflammasome on autophagy in glomerular damage in DN is still lacking. In this study, we focused on the effect of the activation of NLRP3 inflammasome on the suppression of podocyte autophagy and aimed to investigate the role of autophagy in podocyte injury in DN. Podocyte autophagy has been confirmed to be inhibited in high-fat diet/streptozotocin (HFD/STZ)-induced DN mice, and NLRP3 has been found to be upregulated in both mice and human DN biopsies and in vitro. Activation of NLRP3 inflammasome exacerbated podocyte autophagy and reduced podocyte nephrin expression, while silencing of NLRP3 efficiently restored podocyte autophagy and ameliorated podocyte injury induced by high glucose. The results showed that NLRP3 was a negative regulator of autophagy and suggested that restoration of podocyte autophagy by inactivation of NLRP3 under high glucose could reduce podocyte injury. Proper modification of autophagy and inflammasome has the potential to benefit the kidney in DN. (C) 2019 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.