Send to:

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Trends Immunol. 2011 Mar;32(3):110-6. doi: 10.1016/ Epub 2011 Feb 18.

Inflammasome activation and IL-1β and IL-18 processing during infection.

Author information

  • 1Department of Medicine, Radboud University Nijmegen Medical Center, Nijmegen, The Netherlands.


Interleukin-1β (IL-1β) and IL-18 contribute to host defense against infection by augmenting antimicrobial properties of phagocytes and initiating Th1 and Th17 adaptive immune responses. Protein complexes called inflammasomes activate intracellular caspase-1 autocatalytically, which cleaves the inactive precursors of IL-1β and IL-18 into bioactive cytokines. In this review, we discuss the controversies regarding inflammasome activation and the role of the inflammasome during infection. We highlight alternative mechanisms for processing IL-1β and IL-18 during infection, which involve extracellular cleavage of the inactive cytokines by neutrophil-derived serine proteases or proteases released from cytotoxic T cells.

Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Elsevier Science
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk