Downregulation of nucleotide binding and oligomerization domain-like receptor family pyrin domain-containing 3 (NLRP3) by siRNA attenuated hippocampal neuronal loss in status epilepticus (SE rat). (A) Representative photo of Nissl-staining in CA1 region and CA3 region of the rat hippocampus. Neurons with intact morphology were identified as surviving neurons. Scale bars: 50 μm. The neuronal survival rate was defined as follows: Neuronal surviving rate (%) = 100 × (Count of surviving neurons/Total count of neurons). (B) Neuronal death was detected using the TUNEL staining in the hippocampus of sham rats and SE rats. Photos were converted to black and white to obtain a better contrast ratio. Neurons with deep black nuclei were identified as TUNEL-positive neurons (indicated by red arrows). Scale bars: 50 μm. The percentage of TUNEL-positive neurons was defined as follows: 100 × (Count of TUNEL-positive neurons/Total count of neurons). Columns represent mean ± standard deviation (n = 6 per group). *P < 0.05 versus control siRNA treatment. TUNEL, terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase-mediated dUTP end-labeling.