Intrarenal crystal formation activates the Nlrp3 inflammasome in myeloid cells and triggers a profound inflammatory response. Here, we studied whether a specific inhibitor of the Nlrp3 inflammasome, CP-456,773, can prevent kidney fibrosis in a murine model of crystal nephropathy induced by diets rich in oxalate or adenine. Inflammasome activation in renal dendritic cells and the resulting interleukin (IL)-1β and IL-18 production were markedly reduced by CP-456,773 treatment both ex vivo and in vivo. We directly visualized intrarenal inflammasome activation and its inhibition by CP-456,773 in vivo by adoptive transfer of bone marrow cells transduced with interleukin-1β-Gaussia luciferase, a proteolytic luciferase-based reporter for inflammasome activation, into irradiated mice. CP-456,773 treatment strongly attenuated kidney fibrosis when given early in the genesis of crystal nephropathy, but was unable to reverse established crystal-induced fibrosis. The urinary IL-18 concentration appeared to be a useful noninvasive biomarker for renal inflammasome activation. Finally, NLRP3 inhibition did not compromise adaptive immune responses as previously reported for the global inhibition of IL-1 signaling. Thus, early NLRP3 inhibition by CP-456,773 may be an effective treatment for crystal nephropathy. Use of iGLuc transfected cells introduces a novel imaging technique for inflammasome activation in mice.
Keywords: cytokines; dendritic cells; fibrosis; imaging; inflammasome.
Copyright © 2016 International Society of Nephrology. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.