AMP-Activated Protein Kinase Regulation of the NLRP3 Inflammasome during Aging

Trends Endocrinol Metab. 2018 Jan;29(1):8-17. doi: 10.1016/j.tem.2017.10.009. Epub 2017 Nov 14.


The NLRP3 inflammasome has recently emerged as an unexpected marker of stress and metabolic risk and has also been implicated in the development of major aging-related diseases such as gout, type 2 diabetes, obesity, cancer, and neurodegenerative and cardiovascular disorders. Several pathways regulating the NLRP3 inflammasome are currently being studied, but how the NLRP3 inflammasome is regulated remains unknown. AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK), a central regulator of multiple metabolic pathways involved in the pathophysiology of aging and age-related diseases, has emerged as an important integrator of signals controlling inflammation including the inflammasome. In this Opinion article, we show that several AMPK-dependent pathways regulate NLRP3 inflammasome activation during aging, suggesting NLRP3 as a potential pharmacological target in age-related diseases.

Keywords: AMPK; NLRP3 inflammasome; aging; autophagy.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • AMP-Activated Protein Kinases* / immunology
  • AMP-Activated Protein Kinases* / metabolism
  • Aging* / immunology
  • Aging* / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Inflammasomes* / immunology
  • Inflammasomes* / metabolism
  • NLR Family, Pyrin Domain-Containing 3 Protein* / immunology
  • NLR Family, Pyrin Domain-Containing 3 Protein* / metabolism


  • Inflammasomes
  • NLR Family, Pyrin Domain-Containing 3 Protein
  • NLRP3 protein, human
  • AMP-Activated Protein Kinases