Inflammasomes: Pandora’s box for sepsis
1Children’s Health Queensland Clinical Unit, School of Clinical Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, Mater Research, University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia; 2School of Biomedical Sciences, Faculty of Medicine, University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia
Abstract: Sepsis was known to ancient Greeks since the time of great physician Hippocrates (460–377 BC) without exact information regarding its pathogenesis. With time and medical advances, it is now considered as a condition associated with organ dysfunction occurring in the presence of systemic infection as a result of dysregulation of the immune response. Still with this advancement, we are struggling for the development of target-based therapeutic approach for the management of sepsis. The advancement in understanding the immune system and its working has led to novel discoveries in the last 50 years, including different pattern recognition receptors. Inflammasomes are also part of these novel discoveries in the field of immunology which are <20 years old in terms of their first identification. They serve as important cytosolic pattern recognition receptors required for recognizing cytosolic pathogens, and their pathogen-associated molecular patterns play an important role in the pathogenesis of sepsis. The activation of both canonical and non-canonical inflammasome signaling pathways is involved in mounting a proinflammatory immune response via regulating the generation of IL-1β, IL-18, IL-33 cytokines and pyroptosis. In addition to pathogens and their pathogen-associated molecular patterns, death/damage-associated molecular patterns and other proinflammatory molecules involved in the pathogenesis of sepsis affect inflammasomes and vice versa. Thus, the present review is mainly focused on the inflammasomes, their role in the regulation of immune response associated with sepsis, and their targeting as a novel therapeutic approach.
Keywords: inflammasomes, sepsis, cytokines, inflammation, pathogens
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