Watanabe-Kusunoki, K.; Li, C.; Bandeira Honda, T. S.; Zhao, D.; Kusunoki, Y.; Ku, J.; Long, H.; Klaus, M.; Han, C.; Braun, A.; Mammadova-Bach, E.; Linkermann, A.; Van Avondt, K.; Richter, M.; Soehnlein, O.; Linder, M. I.; Klein, C.; Steiger, S.; Anders, H.-J.

2024 Blood

Thrombotic microangiopathy (TMA) is characterized by immunothrombosis and life-threatening organ failure, but the precise underlying mechanism driving its pathogenesis remains elusive. In this study, we hypothesized that gasdermin D (GSDMD), a pore-forming protein serving as the final downstream effector of pyroptosis/interleukin (IL)-1pathway, contributes to TMA and its consequences by amplifying neutrophil maturation and subsequent necrosis. Using a murine model of focal crystalline TMA, we found that Gsdmd-deficiency ameliorated immunothrombosis, acute tissue injury and failure. Gsdmd-/- mice exhibited a decrease in mature IL-1, as well as in neutrophil maturation, 2 integrin activation, and recruitment to TMA lesions, where they formed reduced neutrophil extracellular traps both in arteries and interstitial tissue. The GSDMD inhibitor disulfiram dose-dependently suppressed human neutrophil pyroptosis in response to cholesterol crystals. Experiments with GSDMD-deficient human induced pluripotent stem cell-derived neutrophils confirmed the involvement of GSDMD in neutrophil 2 integrin activation, maturation as well as pyroptosis. Both prophylactic and therapeutic administration of disulfiram protected mice from focal TMA, acute tissue injury and failure. Our data identify GSDMD as a key mediator of focal crystalline TMA and its consequences: ischemic tissue infarction and organ failure. GSDMD could potentially serve as a therapeutic target for systemic forms of TMA.