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Zendedel, Adib; Mönnink, Fabian; Hassanzadeh, Gholamreza; Zaminy, Arash; Ansar, Malek Masoud; Habib, Pardes; Slowik, Alexander; Kipp, Markus; Beyer, Cordian (2018): Estrogen Attenuates Local Inflammasome Expression and Activation after Spinal Cord Injury. In: Molecular Neurobiology, Vol. 55, No. 2: pp. 1364-1375
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Abstract

17-estradiol (E2) is a neuroprotective hormone with a high anti-inflammatory potential in different neurological disorders. The inflammatory response initiated by spinal cord injury (SCI) involves the processing of interleukin-1beta (IL-1b) and IL-18 mediated by caspase-1 which is under the control of an intracellular multiprotein complex called inflammasome. We recently described in a SCI model that between 24 and 72 h post-injury, most of inflammasome components including IL-18, IL-1b, NLRP3, ASC, and caspase-1 are upregulated. In this study, we investigated the influence of E2 treatment after spinal cord contusion on inflammasome regulation. After contusion of T9 spinal segment, 12-week-old male Wistar rats were treated subcutaneously with E2 immediately after injury and every 12 h for the next 3 days. Behavioral scores were significantly improved in E2-treated animals compared to vehicle-treated groups. Functional improvement in E2-treated animals was paralleled by the attenuated expression of certain inflammasome components such as ASC, NLRP1b, and NLRP3 together with IL1b, IL-18, and caspase-1. On the histopathological level, microgliosis and oligodendrocyte injury was ameliorated. These findings support and extend the knowledge of the E2-mediated neuroprotective function during SCI. The control of the inflammasome machinery by E2 might be a missing piece of the puzzle to understand the anti-inflammatory potency of E2.