Serum amyloid a-mediated inflammasome activation of microglial cells in cerebral ischemia

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


External Institution(s)

  • University of South Florida
  • Medical University of South Carolina


Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)9465-9476
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Neuroscience
Issue number47
StatusPublished - Nov 2019


Serum amyloid A (SAA) proteins are acute-phase reactant associated with high-density lipoprotein (HDL) particles and increase in the plasma 1000-fold during inflammation. Recent studies have implicated SAAs in innate immunity and various disorders; however, the precise mechanism eludes us. Previous studies have shown SAAs are elevated following stroke and cerebral ischemia, and our studies demonstrated that SAA-deficient mice reduce inflammation and infarct volumes in a mouse stroke model. Our studies demonstrate that SAA increases the cytokine interleukin-1β (IL-1β), which is mediated by Nod-like receptor protein 3 (NLRP3) inflammasome, cathepsin B, and caspase-1 and may play a role in the pathogenesis of neurological disorders. SAA induced the expression of NLRP3, which mediated IL-1β induction in murine BV-2 cells and both sex primary mouse microglial cells, in a dose- and time-dependent fashion. Inhibition or KO of the NLRP3 in microglia prevented the increase in IL-1β. N-acetyl-L-cysteine and mito-TEMPO blocked the induction of IL-1β by inhibiting ROS with SAA treatment. In addition, inhibition of cathepsin B with different drugs or microglia from CatBdeficient mice attenuated inflammasome activation. Our studies suggest that the impact of SAA on inflammasome stimulation is mediated in part by the receptor for advanced glycation endproducts and Toll-like receptor proteins 2 and 4. SAA induced inflammatory cytokines and an M1 phenotype in the microglial cells while downregulating anti-inflammation M2 phenotype. These studies suggest that brain injury to can elicit a systemic inflammatory response mediated through SAA that contributes to the pathological outcomes.

    Research areas

  • Cathepsin B, Inflammasome, Inflammation, Microglia, Serum amyloid A