It has been postulated that inflammasomes, in particular the NLRP3 (NLR family pyrin domain containing 3) inflammasome, mediate the necroinflammation and fibrosis that characterize nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) by engaging innate immune responses. We aimed to investigate the impact of genetic deletion or pharmacologic inhibition of the NLRP3 inflammasome on experimental steatohepatitis. Global Nlrp3 KO (expected to inhibit the NLRP3 inflammasome) or Casp1 KO (expected to inhibit all inflammasomes) mice were compared to wild type controls after 6 months on a high-fat, high-cholesterol (HFHC, 1% cholesterol) diet known to induce fibrosing steatohepatitis. Additionally, wild-type mice on a HFHC diet (0.75% or 0.5% cholesterol) for 6 months were either treated or not treated with an oral, pharmacologic inhibitor of Nlrp3 (MCC950) that was delivered in the drinking water (0.3 mg/ml). We found that genetic deletion or pharmacologic inhibition of the NLRP3 inflammasome did not ameliorate any of the histological components of fibrosing NASH in HFHC-fed mice. Collectively, these results do not support NLRP3 inhibition as a potential target for human NASH.
- dietary fat
- fatty liver
- innate immune responses
- nonalcoholic fatty liver disease
- nonalcoholic steatohepatitis