The inflammasome in lung diseases

Gimena dos Santos, Mikhail A. Kutuzov, Karen M. Ridge

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

138 Scopus citations


Inflammation, the process aimed at restoring homeostasis after an insult, can be more damaging than the insult itself if uncontrolled, excessive, or prolonged. The inflammasome is an intracellular multimeric protein complex that regulates the maturation and release of proinflammatory cytokines of the IL-1 family in response to pathogens and endogenous danger signals. Growing evidence indicates that the inflammasome plays a key role in the pathogenesis of acute and chronic respiratory diseases. The inflammasome can be activated by the pathogens that account for the most prevalent infectious diseases of the respiratory tract, such as influenza A virus, Streptococcus pneumoniae, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, and Mycobacterium tuberculosis. The inflammasome also plays a role in the chronic inflammation of the airways of patients with asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, as well as in the initiation and progression of the inflammatory process in pulmonary fibrosis. The aim of this review is to summarize the most relevant points of inflammasome activation in lung diseases.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)L627-L633
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Lung Cellular and Molecular Physiology
Issue number8
StatePublished - 2012


  • Innate immunity
  • Interleukin-1β
  • Respiratory diseases

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology (medical)
  • Physiology
  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
  • Cell Biology


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