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Inflammasome activation is critical to the protective immune response during chemically induced squamous cell carcinoma.

PloS one (2014-10-01)
Thais Helena Gasparoto, Carine Ervolino de Oliveira, Luisa Thomazini de Freitas, Claudia Ramos Pinheiro, Juliana Issa Hori, Gustavo Pompermaier Garlet, Karen Angélica Cavassani, Roxana Schillaci, João Santana da Silva, Dario Simões Zamboni, Ana Paula Campanelli
ABSTRACT

Chronic inflammation affects most stages of tumorigenesis, including initiation, promotion, malignant differentiation, invasion and metastasis. Inflammasomes have been described as involved with persistent inflammation and are known to exert both pro and antitumour effects. We evaluated the influence of apoptosis-associated speck-like protein containing a caspase recruitment domain (ASC) and caspase (CASP)-1 in the antitumor immune response using a multistage model of squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) development. Absence of ASC and CASP-1 resulted in an earlier incidence and increased number of papilloma. Loss of inflammassome function in mice resulted in decreased presence of natural killer (NK), dendritic (DC), CD4(+), CD8(+) and CD45RB(+) T cells in the tumor lesions as well as in lymph nodes (LN) compared with WT mice. Increased percentage of CD4(+)CD25(+)Foxp3(+) T cells was associated with association with inflammasome loss of function. Moreover, significant differences were also found with neutrophils and macrophage infiltrating the lesions. Myeloperoxidase (MPO), but not elastase (ELA), activity oscillated among the groups during the SCC development. Levels of proinflammatory cytokines IL-1β, IL-18, Tumor Necrosis Factor (TNF)-α and Interferon (IFN)-γ were decreased in the tumor microenvironment in the absence of inflammasome proteins. These observations suggest a link between inflammasome function and SCC tumorigenesis, indicating an important role for inflammasome activation in the control of SCC development.

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