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Author: Sheida Naderi-Azad, medical student, University of Toronto Faculty of Medicine, Toronto, ON, Canada. DermNet NZ Editor in Chief: Adjunct Assoc. Prof. Amanda Oakley, Dermatologist, Hamilton, New Zealand. December 2019.
The innate immune response refers to the parts of the immune system that are immediately functional. It includes:
An inflammasome is a part of the innate immune system. It is an intracellular complex that binds microbes and creates a signal cascade to attack them.
Inflammasomes include :
An inflammasome consists of :
Inflammasomes regulate the immunological response to exogenous stimuli (eg, bacteria) and endogenous stimuli (eg, neoplasia) via cytokine secretion, particularly interleukin (IL)-1β and IL-18, and induce neutrophil recruitment .
Inflammasomes also play an important role in acute and chronic inflammatory diseases .
Inflammatory skin diseases are characterised by the activation of the innate and adaptive immune system via the production of pro-inflammatory cytokines . They are classified as autoimmune diseases and autoinflammatory syndromes or diseases.
Autoinflammatory skin diseases such as periodic fever syndromes and neutrophilic dermatoses involve activation of innate immune system cells (macrophages, neutrophils, mast cells and natural killer [NK] cells), resulting in tissue damage in the absence of autoantigens and autoantibodies.
Some skin diseases such as psoriasis have autoimmune and autoinflammatory components .
Skin conditions in which inflammasomes are present
In experimental contact dermatitis due to 2,4-dinitrofluorobenzene (DNFB), priming of the adaptive immune system has been shown to depend on the activation of the innate immune system .
The evidence behind inflammasome-mediated production of IL-1 family cytokines in contact dermatitis is as follows:
Psoriasis is a common skin condition characterised by circumscribed erythematous plaques covered with a silvery scale.
The pathophysiology of psoriasis is complex; it involves neutrophils and the innate immune response .
Antagonists of members of the IL-1 family are under investigation for the treatment of psoriasis .
Autoinflammatory syndromes and diseases are characterised by multiple inflammatory episodes caused by an exaggerated innate immune response. The pathogenesis does not involve specific autoantibodies and T-cells.
An autoinflammatory disease is diagnosed after excluding infective, neoplastic and allergic conditions.
Autoinflammatory syndromes include hereditary periodic fever syndromes, other monogenic autoinflammatory syndromes, noninherited or polygenic disorders (such as generalised pustular psoriasis) and neutrophilic dermatoses.
Inflammasomes upregulate the signalling of various cytokines (including IL-1) in autoinflammatory skin diseases, which in turn amplify neutrophil-mediated inflammation through multiple mechanisms. IL-1β has antiapoptotic effects on neutrophils, prolonging their survival.
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