Shen L, Yang Y, Ou T, Key CC, Tong SH, Sequeira RC, Nelson JM, Nie Y, Wang Z, Boudyguina E, Shewale SV, Zhu X.
Dietary PUFAs reduce atherosclerosis and macrophage inflammation, but how nucleotide-binding oligomerization domain leucine-rich repeat-containing receptor protein (NLRP3) inflammasome activation and autophagy influence PUFA-mediated atheroprotection is poorly understood. We fed Ldlr-/- mice diets containing 10% (calories) palm oil (PO) and 0.2% cholesterol, supplemented with an additional 10% of calories as PO, fish oil (FO), echium oil (EO, containing 18:4 n-3), or borage oil (BO, containing 18:3 n-6). Inflammasome activation, autophagic flux, and mitochondrial function were measured in peritoneal macrophages, blood monocytes, or liver from diet-fed mice. Compared with PO, dietary PUFAs (FO, EO, or BO) markedly inhibited inflammasome activation, shown by 1) less macrophage IL-1β secretion and caspase-1 cleavage in response to NLRP3 inflammasome activators, 2) less IL-1β secretion and caspase-1 cleavage from liver or hepatocytes in response to lipopolysaccharide (LPS), and 3) attenuated caspase-1 activity in blood monocytes. Furthermore, PUFA-enriched diets increased LC3-II expression in macrophage, aorta, and liver samples and reduced numbers of dysfunctional mitochondria in macrophages in response to LPS and palmitate, suggesting enhanced autophagic activation. Dietary PUFAs did not attenuate NLRP3 inflammasome activation in atg5-deficient macrophages, indicating that autophagic activation is critical for the PUFA-mediated inflammasome inactivation. In conclusion, dietary PUFAs reduce atherosclerosis, in part, by activation of macrophage autophagy and attenuation of NLRP3 inflammasome activation.