The Inflammasomes in Cardiovascular Disease

  • Gerardus P. J. van HoutEmail author
  • Lena Bosch
Part of the Experientia Supplementum book series (EXS, volume 108)


Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is the number one cause of death worldwide. The pathogenesis of various disease entities that comprise the area of CVD is complex and multifactorial. Inflammation serves a central role in these complex aetiologies. The inflammasomes are intracellular protein complexes activated by danger-associated molecular patterns (DAMPs) present in CVD such as atherosclerosis and myocardial infarction (MI). After a two-step process of priming and activation, inflammasomes are responsible for the formation of pro-inflammatory cytokines interleukin-1β and interleukin-18, inducing a signal transduction cascade resulting in a strong immune response that culminates in disease progression. In the past few years, increased interest has been raised regarding the inflammasomes in CVD. Inflammasome activation is thought to be involved in the pathogenesis of various disease entities such as atherosclerosis, MI and heart failure (HF). Interference with inflammasome-mediated signalling could reduce inflammation and attenuate the severity of disease. In this chapter we provide an overview of the current literature available on the role of inflammasome inhibition as a therapeutic intervention and the possible clinical implications for CVD.


Cardiovascular disease Inflammasome Atherosclerosis Heart failure Myocardial infarction Inflammation 


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© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of CardiologyUtrecht University Medical CenterUtrechtThe Netherlands
  2. 2.Department of Experimental CardiologyUtrecht University Medical CenterUtrechtThe Netherlands

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