Inhibition of the NLRP3 inflammasome limits the inflammatory injury following myocardial ischemia-reperfusion in the mouse

Int J Cardiol. 2016 Apr 15;209:215-20. doi: 10.1016/j.ijcard.2016.02.043. Epub 2016 Feb 4.


Background: Successful reperfusion is the most effective strategy to reduce ischemic injury in acute myocardial infarction (AMI). Ischemic injury, however, also triggers a secondary ischemia-independent injury, known as reperfusion injury, contributing to the overall infarct size. We hypothesize that inhibition of the Nod-like Receptor Protein-3 (NLRP3) inflammasome limits infarct size following myocardial ischemia/reperfusion (I/R), by inhibiting the inflammatory component of the reperfusion injury.

Methods: CD-1 male mice underwent transient ligation of the left anterior descending coronary artery for 30 or 75min followed by reperfusion. Infarct size was measured at 1, 3 and 24h. A NLRP3 inflammasome inhibitor (NLRP3inh) or vehicle was administrated immediately at time of reperfusion or with a delay of 1 or 3h of reperfusion.

Results: A time-dependent increase in infarct size was measured at 1, 3, and 24h after reperfusion (11±2%, 30±5% and 43±4% of the area at risk respectively; P<0.001 for trend). NLRP3 myocardial expression was significantly increased at 24h and 6h vs 3h (P<0.01). Administration of the NLRP3inh at reperfusion did not reduce infarct size at 3h, while it significantly reduced infarct size at 24h (-56% vs vehicle, P<0.01). The NLRP3inh given 1h after reperfusion also significantly decreased caspase-1 activity and infarct size measured at 24h, whereas the NLRP3inh did not when given with a delay of 3h.

Conclusions: Pharmacological inhibition of the NLRP3 inflammasome within 1h of reperfusion limits the secondary inflammatory injury and infarct size following myocardial ischemia-reperfusion in the mouse.

Keywords: Infarction; Inflammasome; Inflammation; Injury; Ischemia; Reperfusion.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cardiovascular Agents / pharmacology
  • Cardiovascular Agents / therapeutic use
  • Inflammasomes / antagonists & inhibitors
  • Inflammasomes / biosynthesis
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred ICR
  • Myocardial Ischemia / drug therapy
  • Myocardial Ischemia / metabolism*
  • Myocardial Reperfusion Injury / metabolism*
  • Myocardial Reperfusion Injury / prevention & control
  • Myocardial Reperfusion* / adverse effects
  • NLR Family, Pyrin Domain-Containing 3 Protein / antagonists & inhibitors
  • NLR Family, Pyrin Domain-Containing 3 Protein / biosynthesis*


  • Cardiovascular Agents
  • Inflammasomes
  • NLR Family, Pyrin Domain-Containing 3 Protein
  • Nlrp3 protein, mouse