Nrf2 activator Diethyl Maleate attenuates ROS mediated NLRP3 inflammasome activation in murine microglia

Kiser C., Gonul C. P., GENÇ Ş.

Cytotechnology, 2023 (SCI-Expanded) identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Publication Date: 2023
  • Doi Number: 10.1007/s10616-023-00609-8
  • Journal Name: Cytotechnology
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus, BIOSIS, Biotechnology Research Abstracts, CAB Abstracts, EMBASE, Veterinary Science Database
  • Keywords: ATP, Diethyl maleate, Inflammasome, Lipopolysaccharide, Microglia, NLRP3
  • Dokuz Eylül University Affiliated: Yes


Microglia are the tissue-resident immune cells of the central nervous system. As a part of the innate immune response, NLR Family Pyrin Domain Containing Protein 3 (NLRP3) inflammasome activation leads to cleavage of caspase-1 and triggers secretion of proinflammatory cytokines and may also result in pyroptotic cell death. Inflammasome activation plays a crucial role in inflammatory conditions; aberrant activation of inflammasome contributes to the pathogenesis of neurodegenerative diseases. Diethyl Maleate (DEM) is a promising antiinflammatory chemical to alleviate inflammasome activation. In this study, NLRP3 inflammasome was activated in N9 murine microglia via 1 µg/ml LPS (Lipopolysaccharide) for 4 h and 5 mM ATP (Adenosine 5′-triphosphate) for 1 h, respectively. We demonstrated that 1 h pretreatment of DEM attenuated NLRP3 inflammasome activation in microglial cells. Besides, mitochondrial ROS decreased upon DEM pretreatment in inflammasome-induced cells. Likewise, it ameliorated pyroptotic cell death in microglia. DEM is a potent activator of Nrf2 transcription factor, the key regulator of the antioxidant response pathway. Nrf2 has been a significant target to decrease aberrant inflammasome activation through the antioxidant compounds, including DEM. Here, we have shown that DEM increased Nrf2 translocation to the nucleus, resulting in Nrf2 target gene expression in microglia. In conclusion, DEM is a promising protective agent against NLRP3 inflammasome activation.