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.
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