Pretreatment with low-dose fimasartan ameliorates NLRP3 inflammasome-mediated neuroinflammation and brain injury after intracerebral hemorrhage

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Nucleotide-binding and oligomerization domain-like receptor family pyrin domain-containing 3 (NLRP3) inflammasome, which is composed of an NLRP3 domain, the adaptor molecule apoptosis-associated speck-like protein containing a CARD (ASC) domain, and procaspase-1, plays an important role in the immune pathophysiology of the secondary damage induced by intracerebral hemorrhage (ICH). This study aims to investigate whether pre-stroke treatment with fimasartan, an angiotensin II receptor blocker, has anti-inflammatory effects on ICH by inhibiting the activation of the NLRP3 inflammasome. Sprague-Dawley rats were divided into five groups: sham, vehicle, low-dose (0.5mg/kg) and regular-doses (1.0 and 3.0mg/kg) fimasartan. These rats were treated for 30days before the induction of collagenase-induced ICH and continuously 3days after surgery. The mean blood pressure (BP) in the low-dose fimasartan group was not significantly different from that of control, and BP in the regular-dose groups was decreased in a dose-dependent manner. Pretreatment with low-dose fimasartan attenuated ICH-induced edema and improved neurological functions. Activation of the NLRP3/ASC/caspase-1 and the NF-κB pathways after ICH was markedly reduced by low-dose fimasartan. The double immunofluorescence staining of brain cells showed a significant decrease in the co-localization of NLRP3 with Iba1 (microglia marker) positive cells by fimasartan treatment. Cultured microglia cells stimulated by hemolysate demonstrated significant activation of the inflammasome, which was reduced by fimasartan. Pretreatment with a low-dose fimasartan alleviated brain damage after acute ICH by inhibiting the NLRP3 inflammasome without lowering MBP. Our study suggests pre-stroke administration of fimasartan could potentially attenuate ICH-induced secondary brain injury by targeting the inflammasome.HIGHLIGHTSNLRP3 inflammasome activation is involved in the secondary brain damage after ICH.Pre-stroke treatment with low-dose fimasartan has favorable effects on acute ICH injury.Fimasartan could potentially target the NLRP3 inflammasome to protect ICH injury independent of its effect on BP.

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