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Publications of the Institute of Innate Immunity

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Michael Heneka Laboratory

Microglial NLRP3 Inflammasome Activation upon TLR2 and TLR5 Ligation by Distinct α-Synuclein Assemblies

Hannah Scheiblich, Luc Bousset, Stephanie Schwartz, Angelika Griep, Eicke Latz, Ronald Melki, Michael T Heneka


Parkinson’s disease (PD) is the second most common age-related neurodegenerative disorder and is characterized by the formation of cellular inclusions inside neurons that are rich in an abnormal form of the protein α-synuclein (α-syn). Microglia are the CNS resident immune cells that react to misfolded proteins through pattern recognition receptor ligation and activation of signaling transduction pathways. Here, we studied activation of primary microglia isolated from wild-type mouse by distinct α-syn forms and their clearance. Internalization of α-syn monomers and oligomers efficiently activated the NOD-like receptor pyrin domain containing 3 (NLRP3) inflammasome via TLR2 and TLR5 ligation, thereby acting on different signaling checkpoints. We found that primary microglia effectively engulf α-syn but hesitate in its degradation. NLRP3 inhibition by the selective inhibitor CRID3 sodium salt and NLRP3 deficiency improved the overall clearance of α-syn oligomers. Together, these data show that distinct α-syn forms exert different microglial NLRP3 inflammasome activation properties, thereby compromising its degradation, which can be prevented by NLRP3 inhibition.