The everchanging framework of autoinflammation

Intern Emerg Med. 2021 Oct;16(7):1759-1770. doi: 10.1007/s11739-021-02751-7. Epub 2021 May 17.


The innate immunity works as a defence bullwark that safeguards healthy tissues with the power of detecting infectious agents in the human body: errors in the context of innate immunity identify autoinflammatory disorders (AIDs), which arise as bouts of aberrant inflammation with little or no involvement of T and B cells and neither recognized infections, nor associated autoimmune phenomena. Hereditary AIDs tend to have a pediatric-onset heralded by stereotyped inflammatory symptoms and fever, while AIDs without an ascertained cause, such as systemic juvenile idiopathic arthritis, derive from the interaction of genetic factors with environmental noxae and are unevenly defined. A dysregulated inflammasome activation promotes the best-known family of AIDs, as well as several degenerative and metabolic disorders, but also nuclear factor κB- and interferon-mediated conditions have been framed as AIDs: the zenith of inflammatory flares marks different phenotypes, but diagnosis may go unnoticed until adulthood due to downplayed symptoms and complex kaleidoscopic presentations. This review summarizes the main AIDs encountered in childhood with special emphasis on the clinical stigmata that may help establish a correct framework and blueprints to empower young scientists in the recognition of AIDs. The description focuses inflammasomopathies as paradigms of interleukinopathies, nuclear factor-κB -related disorders and interferonopathies. The challenges in the management of AIDs during childhood have been recently boosted by numerous therapeutic options derived from genomically-based approaches, which have led to identify targeted biologic agents as rationalized treatments and achieve more tangible perspectives of disease control.

Keywords: Autoinflammation; Autoinflammatory disease; Child; Inflammasome; Inflammasomopathy; Innovative biotechnologies; Interferon; Interleukin-1; Nuclear factor-κB; Personalized medicine; Recurrent fever.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Autoimmune Diseases
  • Autoimmunity*
  • Humans
  • Inflammation* / physiopathology
  • Interferons


  • Interferons