Research Papers: Pathology:

NLRP3 inflammasome activation is involved in Ang II-induced kidney damage via mitochondrial dysfunction

Yi Wen, Yiran Liu, Taotao Tang, Linli Lv, Hong Liu, Kunling Ma and Bicheng Liu _

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Oncotarget. 2016; 7:54290-54302. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.11091

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Yi Wen1, Yiran Liu1, Taotao Tang1, Linli Lv1, Hong Liu1, Kunling Ma1 and Bicheng Liu1

1 Institute of Nephrology, Zhong Da Hospital, Southeast University, Nanjing, Jiangsu, China

Correspondence to:

Bicheng Liu, email:

Keywords: NLRP3 inflammasome, angiotensin II, mitochondrial dysfunction, RAS, Pathology Section

Received: December 05, 2015 Accepted: June 29, 2016 Published: August 05, 2016


Growing evidence has shown that NLRP3 inflammasome activation promotes the development of tubulointerstitial inflammation and progression of renal injury. We previously found that mitochondrial dysfunction is a critical determinant for the activation of NLRP3 inflammasome in albumin-overload rats. Angiotensin (Ang) II plays an important role in mitochondrial homeostasis. Here, we investigated the role of Ang II in NLRP3 inflammasome activation and the involvement of mitochondrial dysfunction in this process. In vitro, Ang II triggered NLRP3 inflammasome activation in a dose- and time-dependent manner, and this effect is mediated by AT1 receptor rather than AT2 receptor. MitoTEMPO, a mitochondrial targeted antioxidant, attenuated Ang II induced mitochondrial reactive oxygen species (mROS) production and NLRP3 inflammation activation. Following chronic Ang II infusion for 28 days, we observed remarkable tubular epithelial cells (TECs) injury, mitochondrial damage, and albuminuria in WT mice. However, these abnormalities were significantly attenuated in AT1 receptor KO mice. Then, we examined the role of mitochondria in Ang II-infused mice with or without mitoTEMPO treatment. As expected, Ang II-induced mitochondrial dysfunction and NLRP3 inflammasome activation was markedly inhibited by mitoTEMPO. Notably, NLRP3 deletion signally protected TECs from Ang II-triggered mitochondrial dysfunction and NLRP3 inflammasome activation. Taken together, these data demonstrate that Ang II induces NLRP3 inflammasome activation in TECs which is mediated by mitochondrial dysfunction.

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