The inflammasome and caspase-1 activation: a new mechanism underlying increased inflammatory activity in human visceral adipose tissue
SourceEndocrinology, 152, 10, (2011), pp. 3769-3778
Article / Letter to editor
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Laboratory of Hematology
SubjectIGMD 5: Health aging / healthy living; N4i 1: Pathogenesis and modulation of inflammation; NCEBP 14: Cardiovascular diseases
The immune competent abdominal adipose tissue, either stored viscerally [visceral adipose tissue (VAT)] or sc [sc adipose tissue (SAT)], has been identified as a source of IL-1beta and IL-18. To become active, the proforms of these cytokines require processing by caspase-1, which itself is mediated by the inflammasome. In this descriptive study, we investigate the expression of inflammasome components and caspase-1 in human fat and determine whether caspase-1 activity contributes to the enhanced inflammatory status of VAT. Paired SAT and VAT biopsies from 10 overweight subjects (body mass index, 25-28 kg/m(2)) were used to study the cellular composition and the intrinsic inflammatory capacity of both adipose tissue depots. The percentage of CD8(+) T cells within the lymphocyte fraction was significantly higher in VAT compared with SAT (41.6 vs. 30.4%; P < 0.05). Adipose tissue cultures showed a higher release of IL-1beta (10-fold; P < 0.05), IL-18 (3-fold; P < 0.05), and IL-6 and IL-8 (3-fold, P < 0.05; and 4-fold, P < 0.05, respectively) from VAT compared with SAT that was significantly reduced by inhibiting caspase-1 activity. In addition, caspase-1 activity was 3-fold (P < 0.05) higher in VAT compared with SAT, together with an increase in the protein levels of the inflammasome members apoptosis-associated speck-like protein containing a C-terminal caspase-recruitment domain (2-fold; P < 0.05) and nucleotide-binding oligomerization domain-like receptor pyrin domain containing 3 (2-fold; nonsignificant). Finally, caspase-1 activity levels were positively correlated with the percentage of CD8(+) T cells present in adipose tissue. Our results show that caspase-1 and nucleotide-binding oligomerization domain-like receptor pyrin domain containing 3 inflammasome members are abundantly present in human VAT. The increased intrinsic caspase-1 activity in VAT represents a novel and specific inflammatory pathway that may determine the proinflammatory character of this specific depot.
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