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Expression of the NLRP3 inflammasome in human corneal epithelial cells after desiccation in vitro

Poster Details

First Author: S.Kang SOUTH KOREA

Co Author(s):    A. Togloom   J. Oh   J. Song   H. Kim           

Abstract Details


To investigate whether desiccation induces NLRP3 inflammasome components expression in cultivated human corneal epithelial cells (HCEC).


Department of Ophthalmology, Korea University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea


HCEC was grown in keratinocyte growth medium (K-SFM) to approximately 80% confluence. The medium was aspirated and dishes were left for 0 to 45 minutes with the cover left open to dry the cells. After desiccation, viability of the cells was estimated with CCK-8 assay. The expression of mRNA and protein levels of NLRP3 inflammasome components was measured by real-time PCR and western blot. Real-time PCR evaluated NLRP3, ASC and Caspase-1 mRNA levels. Western blot analysis assessed NLRP3, ASC, pro-caspase-1 and active caspase-1 protein expression.


Desiccation changed the cell morphology and decreased the viability of HCEC. The mRNA expression of NLRP3 was increased in a dose-dependent manner with desiccation, but that of ASC and caspase-1 was not increased. Protein levels of NLRP3 and conversion of pro-caspase-1 into active caspase-1 were significantly increased after desiccation.


Desiccation induced NLRP3 inflammasome expression in human corneal epithelial cells, suggesting that inflammasome may participates in desiccation-induced inflammatory process. NLRP3 inflammasome might play a priming role in the pathogenesis of dry eye disease.

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