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Targeting the NLRP3 inflammasome in neurodegenerative diseases

Abstract: Neurodegenerative diseases are characterized by progressive neuronal cell death in different regions of the human brain. Recent studies show that neuroinflammation mediated by innate immunity can actively contribute to the onset and progression of neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and Huntington’s diseases. In particular, NLRP3 (nucleotide-binding oligomerization domain (NOD)-like receptor protein 3) inflammasome complex is involved in the progression of the innate immune response and is responsible for the maturation of caspase-1 leading to the release of proinflammatory cytokines and neuronal cell death. In this context, the recent advances in the understanding of NLRP3 activation and regulation will be reviewed, as well as the opportunities for pharmacologically targeting NLRP3 with natural and synthetic compounds will be discussed.

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