Kawasaki disease (KD) is the leading cause of noncongenital heart disease in children. Studies in mice and humans propound the NLRP3/IL-1β pathway as the principal driver of KD pathophysiology. Endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress can activate the NLRP3 inflammasome, but the potential implication of ER stress in KD pathophysiology has not been investigated to our knowledge. We used human patient data and the Lactobacillus casei cell wall extract (LCWE) murine model of KD vasculitis to characterize the impact of ER stress on the development of cardiovascular lesions. KD patient transcriptomics and single-cell RNA sequencing of the abdominal aorta from LCWE-injected mice revealed changes in the expression of ER stress genes. Alleviating ER stress genetically, by conditional deletion of inositol-requiring enzyme 1 (IRE1) in myeloid cells, or pharmacologically, by inhibition of IRE1 endoribonuclease (RNase) activity, led to significant reduction of LCWE-induced cardiovascular lesion formation as well as reduced caspase-1 activity and IL-1β secretion. These results demonstrate the causal relationship of ER stress to KD pathogenesis and highlight IRE1 RNase activity as a potential new therapeutic target.
Stefanie Marek-Iannucci, Asli D. Yildirim, Syed M. Hamid, Asli B. Ozdemir, Angela C. Gomez, Begüm Kocatürk, Rebecca A. Porritt, Michael C. Fishbein, Takao Iwawaki, Magali Noval Rivas, Ebru Erbay, Moshe Arditi