Benzyl isothiocyanate ameliorates high-fat/cholesterol/cholic acid diet-induced nonalcoholic steatohepatitis through inhibiting cholesterol crystal-activated NLRP3 inflammasome in Kupffer cells.
Toxicol Appl Pharmacol. 2020 Feb 29 ;393:114941. Epub 2020 Feb 29. PMID: 32126212
Incidence of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease is increasing worldwide. Activation of the NLRP3 inflammasome is central to the development of diet-induced nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH). We investigated whether benzyl isothiocyanate (BITC) ameliorates diet-induced NASH and the mechanisms involved. C57BL/6 J mice fed a high-fat diet containing cholesterol and cholic acid (HFCCD) and Kupffer cells stimulated with LPS and cholesterol crystals (CC) were studied. LPS/CC increased the expression of the active form of caspase 1 (p20) and the secretion of IL-1β by Kupffer cells, and these changes were reversed by MCC950, an NLRP3 inflammasome inhibitor. LPS/CC-induced NLRP3 inflammasome activation and IL-1β production were dose-dependently attenuated by BITC. BITC decreased cathepsin B release from lysosomes and binding to NLRP3 induced by LPS/CC. Compared with a normal diet, the HFCCD increased serum levels of ALT, AST, total cholesterol, and IL-1β and hepatic contents of triglycerides and total cholesterol. BITC administration (0.1% in diet) reversed the increase in AST and hepatic triglycerides in the HFCCD group. Moreover, BITC suppressed lipid accumulation, macrophage infiltration, fibrosis, crown-like structure formation, and p20 caspase 1 and p17 IL-1β expression in liver in the HFCCD group. These results suggest that BITC ameliorates HFCCD-induced steatohepatitis by inhibiting the activation of NLRP3 inflammasome in Kupffer cells and may protect against diet-induced NASH.