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Neurosci Bull. 2013 Dec;29(6):779-87. doi: 10.1007/s12264-013-1328-9. Epub 2013 Mar 20.

Research progress on the NLRP3 inflammasome and its role in the central nervous system.

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Department of Integrative Medicine and Neurobiology, Institute of Acupuncture Research, State Key Laboratory of Medical Neurobiology, Institutes of Brain Science, Shanghai Medical College, Fudan University, Shanghai, 200032, China.


The NLRP3 inflammasome, which consists of the NLRP3 (nucleotide-binding oligomerization domain (Nod)-like receptor 3) scaffold, the ASC (apoptosis-associated speck-like protein containing a CARD) adaptor and procaspase- 1, is assembled after the cytoplasmic LRRs (leucine-rich repeats) of NLRP3 sense pathogens or danger signals. The NLRP3 inflammasome controls the activation of the proteolytic enzyme caspase-1. Caspase-1 in turn regulates the maturation of the proinflammasome cytokines IL-1β and IL-18, which leads to an inflammatory response. The inflammasome plays an important role in the development of Alzheimer's disease and bacterial meningitis, and the NLRP3 inflammasome may become a new target for the prevention and treatment of central nervous system diseases.

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