Send to

Choose Destination
Discov Med. 2011 Jul;12(62):65-74.

Inflammasome activation in obesity-related inflammatory diseases and autoimmunity.

Author information

Department of Immunology, St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, Memphis, Tennessee 38105, USA.


The inflammasome is a highly regulated protein complex that triggers caspase-1 activation and subsequent secretion of IL-1β and IL-18. Recognition of microbial components and danger signals by NOD-like receptor (NLR) family members in the cytosol promotes inflammasome activation and downstream inflammatory cytokine production. Pathogen recognition by NLRs and downstream release of inflammasome-derived cytokines are important in host defense against numerous infections. Recent studies have also identified a unique role for inflammasome regulation in the induction and pathogenesis of multiple autoimmune and inflammatory disorders. We now know that obesity-related factors and endogenous markers of cellular stress can lead to unchecked activation of the inflammasome and provoke inflammation and subsequent destruction of vital organs. This review will highlight recent findings that link inflammasome signaling to the progression of autoinflammatory and autoimmune diseases. We will focus on the contribution of inflammasome activation to the pathogenesis of autoinflammatory and autoimmune diseases that are of major significance to human health including type 2 diabetes, atherosclerosis, multiple sclerosis, and type 1 diabetes.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Discovery Medicine Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center