Int J Biol Sci 2019; 15(8):1571-1581. doi:10.7150/ijbs.34211

Research Paper

Caffeine Inhibits NLRP3 Inflammasome Activation by Suppressing MAPK/NF-κB and A2aR Signaling in LPS-Induced THP-1 Macrophages

Weiming Zhao#, Li Ma#, Cheng Cai, Xiaohui Gong

Department of Neonatology, Shanghai Children's Hospital, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Shanghai, China.
# These authors contributed equally to this work

Abstract

Excessive inflammation induced by various risk factors is associated with the development of bronchopulmonary dysplasia (BPD). Caffeine exerts potent anti-inflammatory effects as a clinical preventive medicine for BPD. Recently, NLRP3 inflammasome activation has been demonstrated to be essential for the pathogenesis of BPD. In the present study, we aimed to investigate the effects of caffeine on NLRP3 inflammasome activation in LPS-induced THP-1 macrophages and to explore the underlying the detailed mechanism. We found that caffeine significantly reduced NLRP3 expression, ASC speck formation, and caspase 1 cleavage and therefore decreased IL-1β and IL-18 secretion in THP-1 macrophages. Caffeine also markedly decreased the phosphorylation levels of MAPK and NF-κB pathway members, further suppressing the translocation of NF-κB in THP-1 macrophages. Moreover, silencing of the caffeine-antagonized adenosine A2a receptor (A2aR) significantly decreased cleaved caspase 1 expression in THP-1 macrophages by reducing ROS production. Given these findings, we conclude that caffeine inhibits NLRP3 inflammasome activation by suppressing MAPK/NF-κB signaling and A2aR-associated ROS production in LPS-induced THP-1 macrophages.

Keywords: Caffeine, NLRP3 inflammasome, MAPK, NF-κB, A2aR, THP-1 macrophages

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How to cite this article:
Zhao W, Ma L, Cai C, Gong X. Caffeine Inhibits NLRP3 Inflammasome Activation by Suppressing MAPK/NF-κB and A2aR Signaling in LPS-Induced THP-1 Macrophages. Int J Biol Sci 2019; 15(8):1571-1581. doi:10.7150/ijbs.34211. Available from http://www.ijbs.com/v15p1571.htm