Targeting inflammasomes and pyroptosis in retinal diseases-molecular mechanisms and future perspectives

Prog Retin Eye Res. 2024 Jul:101:101263. doi: 10.1016/j.preteyeres.2024.101263. Epub 2024 Apr 23.


Retinal diseases encompass various conditions associated with sight-threatening immune responses and are leading causes of blindness worldwide. These diseases include age-related macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy, glaucoma and uveitis. Emerging evidence underscores the vital role of the innate immune response in retinal diseases, beyond the previously emphasized T-cell-driven processes of the adaptive immune system. In particular, pyroptosis, a newly discovered programmed cell death process involving inflammasome formation, has been implicated in the loss of membrane integrity and the release of inflammatory cytokines. Several disease-relevant animal models have provided evidence that the formation of inflammasomes and the induction of pyroptosis in innate immune cells contribute to inflammation in various retinal diseases. In this review article, we summarize current knowledge about the innate immune system and pyroptosis in retinal diseases. We also provide insights into translational targeting approaches, including novel drugs countering pyroptosis, to improve the diagnosis and treatment of retinal diseases.

Keywords: Inflammasomes; Innate immune; Pyroptosis; Retina; Therapeutic target.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Humans
  • Immunity, Innate* / physiology
  • Inflammasomes* / metabolism
  • Inflammasomes* / physiology
  • Pyroptosis* / physiology
  • Retinal Diseases* / drug therapy
  • Retinal Diseases* / metabolism


  • Inflammasomes