Role of inflammasomes in multiple sclerosis and their potential as therapeutic targets

J Neuroinflammation. 2020 Sep 2;17(1):260. doi: 10.1186/s12974-020-01944-9.


Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a demyelinating disease of the central nervous system (CNS), and it remains the most common immune-mediated disorder affecting the CNS. While the cause of MS is unclear, the underlying pathomechanisms are thought to be either destruction by autoimmune T cells or dysfunction of myelin-producing cells. Recent advances have indicated that inflammasomes contribute the etiology of MS. Inflammasomes are multiprotein complexes of the innate immune response involved in the processing of caspase-1, the activation of pro-inflammatory cytokines interleukin (IL)-1β and IL-18 as well as the cell death-mediated mechanism of pyroptosis and the activation of the adaptive immune response. Here we review the literature to date on the role of different inflammasome signaling pathways in the pathogenesis of MS and how these pathways may be targeted to reduce deleterious inflammatory processes and improve outcomes in this patient population.

Keywords: EAE; IL-1β; Inflammasome; caspase-1; multiple sclerosis.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Caspases / metabolism
  • Cytokines / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Immunologic Factors / therapeutic use*
  • Inflammasomes / metabolism*
  • Multiple Sclerosis / drug therapy
  • Multiple Sclerosis / metabolism*
  • Signal Transduction / physiology


  • Cytokines
  • Immunologic Factors
  • Inflammasomes
  • Caspases