Protection of Mcc950 against high-glucose-induced human retinal endothelial cell dysfunction

Diabetic retinopathy (DR) is a well-known microvascular complication related to inflammation. Mcc950 is a potent and specific inhibitor of the NLRP3 inflammasome but its influence on DR has not been studied. Thus, we evaluated the anti-inflammatory effects of Mcc950 on high-glucose-induced human retinal endothelial cells (HRECs) and the potential underlying mechanism. In surgical excised proliferative membranes from DR patients, high expression of NLRP3, caspase 1 and IL-1β was observed and co-localization of NLRP3 and IL-1β occurred in CD31+ labeled HRECs. Moreover, in high-glucose-stimulated HRECs, increased production of the NLRP3 inflammasome activation and severe apoptosis were rescued with Mcc950 treatment. Additionally, the inhibitory effect of Mcc950 was mimicked through downregulation of NEK7 by siRNA in high-glucose-induced HRECs and Mcc950 treatment remarkably inhibited Nek7 and NLRP3 interactions by co-immunoprecipitation, suggesting that Mcc950 may be a potentially protective agent against inflammation, likely via downregulation of the Nek7-NLRP3 pathway. In conclusion, Mcc950 inhibited HREC dysfunction under high-glucose conditions and this research may offer insight for future pharmaceutical approaches for treating DR.

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