Evidence against a role for NLRP3-driven islet inflammation in db/db mice

H. L. Kammoun, T. L. Allen, D. C. Henstridge, S. Barre, R. C. Coll, G. I. Lancaster, L. Cron, S. Reibe, J. Y. Chan, M. Bensellam, D. R. Laybutt, M. S. Butler, A. A.B. Robertson, L. A. O'Neill, M. A. Cooper, M. A. Febbraio

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26 Citations (Scopus)


Objectives: Type 2 diabetes (T2D) is associated with chronic, low grade inflammation. Activation of the NLRP3 inflammasome and secretion of its target interleukin-1β (IL-1β) have been implicated in pancreatic β cell failure in T2D. Specific targeting of the NLRP3 inflammasome to prevent pancreatic β cell death could allow for selective T2D treatment without compromising all IL-1β-associated immune responses. We hypothesized that treating a mouse model of T2D with MCC950, a compound that specifically inhibits NLRP3, would prevent pancreatic β cell death, thereby preventing the onset of T2D. Methods: Diabetic db/db mice were treated with MCC950 via drinking water for 8 weeks from 6 to 14 weeks of age, a period over which they developed pancreatic β cell failure. We assessed metabolic parameters such as body composition, glucose tolerance, or insulin secretion over the course of the intervention. Results: MCC950 was a potent inhibitor of NLRP3-induced IL-1β in vitro and was detected at high levels in the plasma of treated db/db mice. Treatment of pre-diabetic db/db mice with MCC950, however, did not prevent pancreatic dysfunction and full onset of the T2D pathology. When examining the NLRP3 pathway in the pancreas of db/db mice, we could not detect an activation of this pathway nor increased levels of its target IL-1β. Conclusions: NLRP3 driven-pancreatic IL-1β inflammation does not play a key role in the pathogenesis of the db/db murine model of T2D.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)66-73
Number of pages8
JournalMolecular Metabolism
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • db/db mice
  • Inflammasome
  • Interleukin-1β
  • MCC950
  • Type 2 diabetes

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