Asbestos and erionite prime and activate the NLRP3 inflammasome that stimulates autocrine cytokine release in human mesothelial cells
Background Pleural fibrosis and malignant mesotheliomas (MM) occur after exposures to pathogenic fibers, yet the mechanisms initiating these diseases are unclear.
Results We document priming and activation of the NLRP3 inflammasome in human mesothelial cells by asbestos and erionite that is causally related to release of IL-1β, IL-6, IL-8, and Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor (VEGF). Transcription and release of these proteins are inhibited in vitro using Anakinra, an IL-1 receptor antagonist that reduces these cytokines in a human peritoneal MM mouse xenograft model.
Conclusions These novel data show that asbestos-induced priming and activation of the NLRP3 inflammasome triggers an autocrine feedback loop modulated via the IL-1 receptor in mesothelial cell type targeted in pleural infection, fibrosis, and carcinogenesis.