ASEMV 2017— Exosomes from Ginger Plant Inhibit Activation of NLRP3 Inflammasome

On Thursday morning, October 12, Jiujiu Yu, PhD, Assistant Professor, Department of Nutrition and Health Sciences, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, spoke on the inhibitory effects of ginger exosomes on NLRP3 inflammasome activation. She said that the aim of her group’s study was to screen and identify dietary exosomes that inhibit the activation of the NLRP3 inflammasome in macrophages. The NLRP3 inflammasome, a key sensor of the innate immune system, is a cytoplasmic complex consisting of the sensor NLRP3, the adaptor ASC, and the effector caspase-1. The NLRP3 inflammasome detects a variety of pathogens and cellular stress, mediates the release of inflammatory mediators, and, as such, its aberrant activation is implicated in many diseases, including metabolic syndromes and autoinflammatory diseases. Therefore, Dr. Yu said, identification of inhibitors that effectively dampen the activity of NLRP3 inflammasomes could be instrumental in controlling undesirable inflammatory conditions. In the work, the scientists purified exosomes from different plants using ultracentrifugation and screened their inhibitory effects on NLRP3 inflammasomes in bone-marrow-derived macrophages. The researchers determined that exosomes purified from ginger strongly inhibited activation of NLRP3 inflammasomes. The ginger exosomes were approximately 134 nanometers in diameter. The inhibitory effects of ginger exposure on NLRP3 inflammasome activation required long incubation (more than 12 hours), suggesting that the cargo inside of the vesicles mediated the inhibitory effects. Ginger exosomes had no effects on the protein levels of inflammasome subunits, including NLRP3, ASC, and caspase-1, or its cofactor Nek7. Based on these results, Dr. Yu concluded that ginger exosomes inhibit NLRP3 inflammasome activation through a novel modulator of the NLRP3 inflammasome.
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