Molecular Pathophysiology of Gout

Trends Mol Med. 2017 Aug;23(8):756-768. doi: 10.1016/j.molmed.2017.06.005. Epub 2017 Jul 18.


Three contradictory clinical presentations of gout have puzzled clinicians and basic scientists for some time: first, the crescendo of sterile inflammation in acute gouty arthritis; second, its spontaneous resolution, despite monosodium urate (MSU) crystal persistence in the synovium; and third, immune anergy to MSU crystal masses observed in tophaceous or visceral gout. Here, we provide an update on the molecular pathophysiology of these gout manifestations, namely, how MSU crystals can trigger the auto-amplification loop of necroinflammation underlying the crescendo of acute gouty arthritis. We also discuss new findings, such as how aggregating neutrophil extracellular traps (NETs) might drive the resolution of arthritis and how these structures, together with granuloma formation, might support immune anergy, but yet promote tissue damage and remodeling during tophaceous gout.

Keywords: NET; gout; histones; kidney; regulated cell necrosis.

Publication types

  • Review
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Arthritis, Gouty* / immunology
  • Arthritis, Gouty* / metabolism
  • Arthritis, Gouty* / pathology
  • Extracellular Traps* / immunology
  • Extracellular Traps* / metabolism
  • Granuloma* / immunology
  • Granuloma* / metabolism
  • Granuloma* / pathology
  • Humans
  • Inflammation / immunology
  • Inflammation / metabolism
  • Inflammation / pathology
  • Uric Acid* / immunology
  • Uric Acid* / metabolism


  • Uric Acid