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Inflammation Assays

Assays to measure markers of inflammation or inflammasome activation include measurement of caspase-1 activity and cytokine release from cells.

The Caspase-Glo® 1 Assay provides a homogeneous, bioluminescent method to selectively measure caspase-1 activity, an essential component of the inflammasome, directly from cells or medium. Lumit™ Cytokine Immunoassays measure cytokines released from cells with a simple no-wash, no-transfer protocol completed in only 70 minutes. The luminescent signal provides good sensitivity and excellent dynamic range, allowing assays to be performed directly on cell culture wells with no dilutions required.

The assays are ideal for multiplexing with additional markers of cell health and for automated high-throughput screening applications.

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Inflammation Assay Basics

As more attention is focused on the role of inflammation in human disease, the ability to measure inflammasome activation is increasingly valuable. The role of inflammation in innate immunity protects us from disease; however, diseases caused by chronic inflammation are a growing medical challenge.

Inflammasomes are protein complexes induced by a diverse set of inflammatory stimuli. Innate immune cells respond to pathogens and other danger signals with the formation of various inflammasomes and the activation of caspase-1. Caspase-1 activation leads to processing and release of cytokines IL-1β and IL-18, and an immunogenic form of programmed cell death called pyroptosis.

Typically, inflammasome activation is monitored with Western blotting of processed caspase-1 or indirectly via determination of IL-1β or IL-18 processing or release, using Western blots or ELISAs, respectively. The bioluminescent Caspase-Glo® 1 assay enables rapid direct measurement of an upstream signaling event in the process of inflammation. This new approach enables studies on the kinetics of inflammasome activation and inactivation and allows a more precise assessment of caspase-1 mediated pyroptosis. This provides a means for high-throughput screening of inflammasome modulators.