Inflammasome signaling and regulation of interleukin-1 family cytokines

J Exp Med. 2020 Jan 6;217(1):e20190314. doi: 10.1084/jem.20190314.


Specific IL-1 family cytokines are expressed by cells as cytosolic pro-forms that require cleavage for their activity and cellular release. IL-1β, IL-18, and IL-37 maturation and secretion is governed by inflammatory caspases within signaling platforms called inflammasomes. By inducing pyroptosis, inflammasomes can also drive the release of the alarmin IL-1α. Recent advances have transformed our mechanistic understanding of inflammasome signaling, cell death decisions, and cytokine activation and secretion. Here, we provide an updated view of inflammasome signaling; mechanisms underpinning IL-1α, IL-1β, IL-18, and IL-37 maturation and release; and the functions of these cytokines in protective and pathological inflammation.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cytokines / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Inflammasomes / metabolism*
  • Inflammation / metabolism
  • Interleukin-1 / metabolism*
  • Signal Transduction / physiology*


  • Cytokines
  • Inflammasomes
  • Interleukin-1