Expression of ASC, NALP3 and IPAF mRNA levels. Male C57bl/6 mice were exposed to vehicle (aerosolised saline) or LPS (1 mg/ml) for 30 minutes. Lung tissue was collected at different time points after the exposure. Lung tissue levels of ASC (A), NALP3 (B) and IPAF (C) mRNA expression were detected by real time RT-PCR. Data are represented as mean ± S.E.M. for n = 6 animals in each group. Statistical significance was determined using Mann–Whitney U test. # = P < 0.05, denoting a significant difference between the LPS exposed and vehicle exposed wild-type groups.