Emerging role of the inflammasome and pyroptosis in hypertension

Academic Article


  • Inflammasomes are components of the innate immune response that have recently emerged as crucial controllers of tissue homeostasis. In particular, the nucleotide-binding domain, leucine-rich-containing (NLR) family pyrin domain containing 3 (NLRP3) inflammasome is a complex platform involved in the activation of caspase-1 and the maturation of interleukin (IL)-1β and IL-18, which are mainly released via pyroptosis. Pyroptosis is a caspase-1-dependent type of cell death that is mediated by the cleavage of gasdermin D and the subsequent formation of structurally stable pores in the cell membrane. Through these pores formed by gasdermin proteins cytosolic contents are released into the extracellular space and act as damage-associated molecular patterns, which are pro-inflammatory signals. Inflammation is a main contributor to the development of hypertension and it also is known to stimulate fibrosis and end-organ damage. Patients with essential hypertension and animal models of hypertension exhibit elevated levels of circulating IL-1β. Down-regulation of the expression of key components of the NLRP3 inflammasome delays the development of hypertension and pharmacological inhibition of this inflammasome leads to reduced blood pressure in animal models and humans. Although the relationship between pyroptosis and hypertension is not well established yet, pyroptosis has been associated with renal and cardiovascular diseases, instances where high blood pressure is a critical risk factor. In this review, we summarize the recent literature addressing the role of pyroptosis and the inflammasome in the development of hypertension and discuss the potential use of approaches targeting this pathway as future anti-hypertensive strategies.
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    Author List

  • De Miguel C; Pelegrín P; Baroja-Mazo A; Cuevas S
  • Start Page

  • 1
  • End Page

  • 22
  • Volume

  • 22
  • Issue

  • 3