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Papers of the Week

Papers: 15 Jul 2023 - 21 Jul 2023

Basic Science

In Vitro Studies, Molecular/Cellular

Inflammation/Inflammatory, Musculoskeletal Pain

2023 Jun 26

Int J Mol Sci




Inflammasome in Skeletal Muscle: NLRP3 Is an Inflammatory Cell Stress Component in Inclusion Body Myositis.


Kummer K, Bertram I, Zechel S, Hoffmann DB, Schmidt J


Inclusion body myositis (IBM) is a chronic, mostly treatment-resistant, inflammatory myopathy with a pathology that centers around specific interactions between inflammation and protein accumulation. The study aimed to identify the inflammasome as a key event in the complex network of pathomechanisms. Regulation of the inflammasome was assessed in a well-established pro-inflammatory cell culture model using human myoblasts and primary human myotubes. By quantitative PCR, western blot and immunocytochemistry, inflammasome markers including NLRP3 were assessed in muscle cells exposed to the cytokines IL-1β and IFN-γ. The data were corroborated by analysis of muscle biopsies from patients with IBM compared to other myositis subtypes. In the cell culture model of IBM, the NLRP3 inflammasome was significantly overexpressed, as evidenced by western blot ( = 0.03) and quantitative PCR ( < 0.01). Target genes that play a role in inflammasome assembly, T-cell migration, and MHC-I expression ( = 0.009) were highly co-upregulated. NLRP3 was significantly overexpressed in muscle biopsies from IBM samples compared to disease controls ( = 0.049), including other inflammatory myopathies. Due to the extraordinary features of the pathogenesis and the pronounced upregulation of NLRP3 in IBM, the inflammasome could serve as a key molecule that drives the inflammatory cascade as well as protein accumulation in the muscle. These data can be useful for future therapeutic developments.