Intermittent fasting attenuates inflammasome activity in ischemic stroke

Exp Neurol. 2014 Jul;257:114-9. doi: 10.1016/j.expneurol.2014.04.017. Epub 2014 May 5.


Recent findings have revealed a novel inflammatory mechanism that contributes to tissue injury in cerebral ischemia mediated by multi-protein complexes termed inflammasomes. Intermittent fasting (IF) can decrease the levels of pro-inflammatory cytokines in the periphery and brain. Here we investigated the impact of IF (16h of food deprivation daily) for 4months on NLRP1 and NLRP3 inflammasome activities following cerebral ischemia. Ischemic stroke was induced in C57BL/6J mice by middle cerebral artery occlusion, followed by reperfusion (I/R). IF decreased the activation of NF-κB and MAPK signaling pathways, the expression of NLRP1 and NLRP3 inflammasome proteins, and both IL-1β and IL-18 in the ischemic brain tissue. These findings demonstrate that IF can attenuate the inflammatory response and tissue damage following ischemic stroke by a mechanism involving suppression of NLRP1 and NLRP3 inflammasome activity.

Keywords: Inflammasomes; Intermittent fasting; Ischemic stroke; NLRP1; NLRP3.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Arterial Occlusive Diseases / complications
  • Carotid Artery, Internal
  • Caspase 1 / metabolism
  • Cytokines / metabolism
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Fasting / physiology*
  • Inflammasomes / metabolism*
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Reperfusion
  • Signal Transduction / physiology
  • Stroke / etiology
  • Stroke / metabolism*
  • Stroke / therapy*


  • Cytokines
  • Inflammasomes
  • Caspase 1