Vitamin D3 ameliorates nitrogen mustard-induced cutaneous inflammation by inactivating the NLRP3 inflammasome through the SIRT3-SOD2-mtROS signaling pathway.
Nitrogen mustard (NM) causes severe skin injury with an obvious inflammatory response, which is lack of effective and targeted therapies. Vitamin D3 (VD3) has excellent anti-inflammatory properties and is considered as a potential candidate for the treatment of NM-induced dermal toxicity; however, the underlying mechanisms are currently unclear. Cyclooxygenase-2 (COX2; a widely used marker of skin inflammation) plays a key role in NM-induced cutaneous inflammation. Herein, we initially confirmed that NM markedly promoted COX2 expression in vitro and in vivo. NM also increased NOD-like receptor family pyrin domain containing 3 (NLRP3) expression, caspase-1 activity, and interleukin-1β (IL-1β) release. Notably, treatment with a caspase-1 inhibitor (zYVAD-fmk), NLRP3 inhibitor (MCC950), and NLRP3 or caspase-1 siRNA attenuated NM-induced NLRP3 inflammasome activation, with subsequent suppression of COX2 expression and IL-1β release in keratinocytes. Meanwhile, NM increased mitochondrial reactive oxygen species (mtROS) and decreased manganese superoxide dismutase 2 (SOD2) and sirtuin 3 (SIRT3) activities. Mito-TEMPO (a mtROS scavenger) ameliorated NM-caused NLRP3 inflammasome activation in keratinocytes. Moreover, VD3 improved SIRT3 and SOD2 activities, decreased mtROS contents, inactivated the NLRP3 inflammasome, and attenuated cutaneous inflammation induced by NM in vitro and in vivo. The beneficial activity of VD3 against NM-triggered cutaneous inflammation was enhanced by the inhibitors of IL-1, mtROS, NLRP3, caspase-1, and NLRP3 or caspase-1 siRNAs, which was abolished in SIRT3 inhibitor or SIRT3 siRNA-treated keratinocytes and skins from SIRT3-/- mice. In conclusion, VD3 ameliorated NM-induced cutaneous inflammation by inactivating the NLRP3 inflammasome, which was partially mediated through the SIRT3-SOD2-mtROS signaling pathway.