Activation of NLRP3 Inflammasome Complexes by Beta-Tricalcium Phosphate Particles and Stimulation of Immune Cell Migration in vivo

J Innate Immun. 2021 Oct 7;1-11. doi: 10.1159/000518953. Online ahead of print.


Beta-tricalcium phosphate (β-TCP) serves as a bone substitute in clinical practice because it is resorbable, biocompatible, osteointegrative, and osteoconductive. Particles of β-TCP are also inflammatory mediators although the mechanism of this function has not been fully elucidated. Regardless, the ability of β-TCP to stimulate the immune system might be useful for immunomodulation. The present study aimed to determine the effects of β-TCP particles on NLR family pyrin domain containing 3 (NLRP3) inflammasome complexes. We found that β-TCP activates NLRP3 inflammasomes, and increases interleukin (IL)-1β production in primary cultured mouse dendritic cells (DCs) and macrophages, and human THP-1 cells in caspase-1 dependent manner. In THP-1 cells, β-TCP increased also IL-18 production, and NLRP3 inflammasome activation by β-TCP depended on phagocytosis, potassium efflux, and reactive oxygen species (ROS) generation. We also investigated the effects of β-TCP in wild-type and NLRP3-deficient mice in vivo. Immune cell migration around subcutaneously injected β-TCP particles was reduced in NLRP3-deficient mice. These findings suggest that the effects of β-TCP particles in vivo are at least partly mediated by NLRP3 inflammasome complexes.

Keywords: Beta-tricalcium phosphate; Dendritic cell; Immunomodulation; Inflammasome; Macrophage; THP-1 cell.