Melatonin administration to wild-type mice and non-treated NLRP3 mutant mice share similar inhibition of the inflammatory response during sepsis.

The NLRP3 inflammasome is involved in the innate immune response during inflammation. Moreover, melatonin blunts the NF-κB/NLRP3 connection during sepsis. Thus, we compared the roles of the NLRP3 inflammasome and/or melatonin treatment in the septic response of wild-type and NLRP3-/- mice. Mouse myocardial tissue was used for this purpose. The nuclear turnover of NF-κB was enhanced during sepsis, with an increase in TNFα, iNOS, and pro-IL-1β. The lack of inflammasome in NLRP3-/- mice significantly reduced that response and blunted IL-1β maturation due to the lack of caspase-1. Clock and Bmal1 did not change in both mouse strains, enhancing Chrono expression in mutants. RORα, which positively regulates Bmal1 was enhanced at a similar extend in both mouse strains, whereas the expression of the Bmal1 repressor, Rev-NDASH-Erbα increased in WT but was depressed in NLRP3-/- mice. Nampt, transcriptionally controlled by Bmal1, increased in WT mice together with Sirt1, whereas they remained unchanged in NLRP3-/- mice. Melatonin treatment reduced the septic response in a comparable manner as did the lack of NLRP3, but unlike the latter, it normalized the clock genes turnover through the induction of RORα and repression of Rev-NDASH-Erbα and Per2, leading to enhanced Nampt and Sirt1. The lack of NLRP3 inflammasome converts sepsis to a moderate inflammatory disease, and identifies NLRP3 as a main target for the treatment of sepsis. The efficacy of melatonin in counteracting the NLRP3 inflammasome activation further confirms the indoleamine as a useful therapeutic drug against this serious condition. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.