Inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD) such as Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis constitute a major health problem in developed countries. Moreover, IBD predisposes to the development of colorectal cancer. The intracellular NOD-like receptor Nlrp3 is rapidly emerging as a crucial regulator of intestinal homeostasis. This innate immune receptor mediates assembly of the inflammasome complex in the presence of microbial ligands, triggering caspase-1 activation and secretion of IL-1β and IL-18. Recent studies suggest that defective Nlrp3 inflammasome signaling in the gut contributes to IBD through increased permeability across the epithelial barrier and the induction of detrimental immune responses against invading commensals. Here, we review and discuss recent advances of the role of the Nlrp3 inflammasome in colitis and colon tumorigenesis.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Immunology and Allergy