NLRP3 Inflammasome knockout mice are protected against ischemic but not cisplatin-induced acute kidney injury

Hyun Jung Kim, Dong Won Lee, Kameswaran Ravichandran, Daniel O. Keys, Ali Akcay, Quocan Nguyen, Zhibin He, Alkesh Jani, Danica Ljubanovic, Charles L. Edelstein

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

115 Scopus citations


We have demonstrated that caspase-1 is a mediator of both cisplatin-induced acute kidney injury (AKI) and ischemic AKI. As caspase-1 is activated in the inflammasome, we investigated the inflammasome in cisplatin-induced and ischemic AKI. Mice were injected with cisplatin or subjected to bilateral renal pedicle clamping. Immunoblot analysis of whole kidney after cisplatininduced AKI revealed: 1) an increase in apoptosis-associated Speck-like protein containing a caspase recruitment domain (ASC), the major protein that complexes with nucleotide-binding oligomerization domain, leucine-rich repeat and pyrin domain containing proteins (NLRP) 1 or 3 to form the inflammasome; 2) an increase in caspase-1 activity, caspase-5, and NLRP1, components of the NLRP1 inflammasome; and 3) a trend toward increased NLRP3. To determine whether the NLRP3 inflammasome plays an injurious role in cisplatin-induced AKI, we studied NLRP knockout (NLRP3-/-) mice. In cisplatin-induced AKI, the blood urea nitrogen, serum creatinine, acute tubular necrosis score, and tubular apoptosis score were not significantly decreased in NALP3-/- mice compared with wild-type mice. We have previously demonstrated the injurious role of caspase-1 in ischemic AKI. NLRP3, but not ASC or NLRP1, is increased in ischemic AKI. NLRP3-/- mice with ischemic AKI had significantly lower blood urea nitrogen, serum creatinine, and acute tubular necrosis and apoptosis scores than the wild-type controls. The difference in protection against cisplatin-induced AKI compared with ischemic AKI in NLRP3-/- mice was not explained by the differences in proinflammatory cytokines interleukin (IL)-1β, IL-6, chemokine (C-X-C motif) ligand 1, or tumor necrosis factor α. NLRP3 inflammasome is a mediator of ischemic AKI but not cisplatin-induced AKI, and further investigation of the NLRP1 inflammasome in cisplatin-induced AKI should prove interesting.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)465-472
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 2013


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