Rheumatology International

, Volume 38, Issue 8, pp 1345–1354 | Cite as

Novel insights into the role of inflammasomes in autoimmune and metabolic rheumatic diseases

  • Kleopatra Deuteraiou
  • George Kitas
  • Alexandros Garyfallos
  • Theodoros DimitroulasEmail author


Inflammasomes are large intracellular complexes that induce inflammation in response to exogenous and endogenous damage signals. They regulate production and release of the proinflammatory cytokines IL-1β and IL-18, playing a defensive role against infections. Inflammasomes have also been involved in the pathogenesis of a wide range of autoinflammatory conditions that are caused by dysregulation of the IL-1 pathway, such as cryopyrinopathies and hereditary periodic fever syndromes. On top of that, research in recent years suggests that defects in inflammasome regulation and signaling associate with a number of autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, systemic lupus erythematosus, systemic sclerosis and others. In this review, we describe the inflammasome and mechanisms that trigger it, provide a brief review of autoinflammatory disorders and discuss the current understanding and emerging data from experimental and clinical studies for the role of the innate immune system and inflammasomes in the biology and pathogenesis of systemic autoimmune diseases.


Inflammasomes Systemic rheumatic disease Systemic sclerosis Systemic lupus erythematosous Rheumatoid arthritis Gout 



The study received no funding.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare no conflict of interest.

Ethical approval

This article does not contain any studies with human participants or animals performed by any of the authors.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Fourth Department of Internal Medicine, Hippokration University Hospital, Medical SchoolAristotle University of ThessalonikiThessalonikiGreece
  2. 2.Arthritis Research UK Centre for EpidemiologyUniversity of ManchesterManchesterUK

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