3 years ago

Emerging Roles of Inflammasomes in Acute Pneumonia.

Pneumonia is responsible for a substantial burden on healthcare worldwide and the single largest cause for death of infants globally. Pneumonia is caused by a variety of pathogenic microorganisms including bacteria, viruses and fungi. The lung has developed complex innate immune mechanisms to combat these infections while minimizing tissue damage. One essential mechanism that drives the initial innate immune response is sensing a broad spectrum of stimuli in the cytosol by inflammasomes. Inflammasomes are composed of NLR and non-NLR proteins, and activate caspase-1 that results in proinflammatory cytokine activation. When insufficiently controlled, inflammasome activation in the lung leads to extensive inflammation and excessive tissue damage. The aim of this review is to highlight recent advances that illuminate on the roles of inflammasomes and their signaling cascades in acute microbial pneumonia. We also discuss unanswered questions and current controversies associated with inflammasome functions and implications in acute pneumonia. Ultimately, understanding the molecular and cellular mechanisms associated with inflammasome signaling in the lung is potentially important for the development of novel and effective strategies to control pneumonia, and its associated pathologies and the untoward consequences of unchecked inflammation.

Publisher URL: http://doi.org/10.1164/rccm.201707-1391PP

DOI: 10.1164/rccm.201707-1391PP

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