Cdk5-Dependent Activation of Neuronal Inflammasomes in Parkinson's Disease

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Abstract

Background

Inflammasomes, which mediate the activation of caspase-1 and maturation of IL-1β and IL-18, have been unambiguously verified to participate in many diseases, such as lung diseases, infectious diseases and Alzheimer's disease, but the relation between Parkinson's disease and inflammasomes is poorly understood.

Methods

The expression, maturation, and secretion of inflammasomes in neurons were measured. The activation of inflammasomes in the substantia nigra of the brain was tested in acute 1-methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine and an α-synuclein transgenic mouse model. The levels of IL-1β and IL-18 in cerebrospinal fluid and serum samples of Parkinson's disease (PD) patients and control subjects were measured. The role of cyclin-dependent kinase 5 (Cdk5) in neuronal inflammasome activation was evaluated using the pharmacological Cdk5 inhibitor roscovitine or Cdk5-targeted deletion.

Results

Here, we observed the expression of core molecules of inflammasomes, including NALP3, ASC, caspase-1, and IL-1β, in neuronal cells. The PD inducer rotenone could activate neuronal inflammasomes and promote the maturation and secretion of the cleaved IL-1β and IL-18 in a dose- and time-dependent manner. We also detected the activation of inflammasomes in the substantia nigra of a PD mouse model and in cerebrospinal fluid of PD patients. Furthermore, Cdk5 is required for the activation of inflammasomes, and both inhibition and deletion of Cdk5 could efficiently block inflammasome activation in PD models.

Conclusions

Together, our results indicated that Cdk5-dependent activation of neuronal inflammasomes was involved in the progression of PD. © 2016 International Parkinson and Movement Disorder Society

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