The NLRP3 inflammasome in acute myocardial infarction
| The heart is extremely sensitive to ischaemic injury. During an acute myocardial infarction (AMI) event, the injury is initially caused by reduced blood supply to the tissues, which is then further exacerbated by an intense and highly specific inflammatory response that occurs during reperfusion. Numerous studies have highlighted the central role of the NACHT, LRR, and PYD domains-containing protein 3 (NLRP3) inflammasome in this process. The inflammasome, an integral part of the innate immune system, is a macromolecular protein complex that finely regulates the activation of caspase 1 and the production and secretion of powerful pro-inflammatory cytokines such as IL-1β and IL-18. In this Review, we summarize evidence supporting the therapeutic value of NLRP3 inflammasome-targeted strategies in experimental models, and the data supporting the role of the NLRP3 inflammasome in AMI and its consequences on adverse cardiac remodelling, cytokine-mediated systolic dysfunction, and heart failure.