Muscle tissue damage is one of the local effects described in bothropic envenomations. Bothropstoxin-I (BthTX-I), from Bothrops jararacussu venom, is a K49-phospholipase A2 (PLA2) that induces a massive muscle tissue injury, and, consequently, local inflammatory reaction. The NLRP3 inflammasome is a sensor that triggers inflammation by activating caspase 1 and releasing interleukin (IL)-1β and/or inducing pyroptotic cell death in response to tissue damage. We, therefore, aimed to address activation of NLRP3 inflammasome by BthTX-I-associated injury and the mechanism involved in this process. Intramuscular injection of BthTX-I results in infiltration of neutrophils and macrophages in gastrocnemius muscle, which is reduced in NLRP3- and Caspase-1-deficient mice. The in vitro IL-1β production induced by BthTX-I in peritoneal macrophages (PMs) requires caspase 1/11, ASC and NLRP3 and is dependent on adenosine 5′-triphosphate (ATP)-induced K+ efflux and P2X7 receptor (P2X7R). BthTX-I induces a dramatic release of ATP from C2C12 myotubes, therefore representing the major mechanism for P2X7R-dependent inflammasome activation in macrophages. A similar result was obtained when human monocyte-derived macrophages (HMDMs) were treated with BthTX-I. These findings demonstrated the inflammatory effect of BthTX-I on muscle tissue, pointing out a role for the ATP released by damaged cells for the NLRP3 activation on macrophages, contributing to the understanding of the microenvironment of the tissue damage of the Bothrops envenomation.

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