The Inflammasome in Atherosclerosis and Type 2 Diabetes

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Science Translational Medicine  04 May 2011:
Vol. 3, Issue 81, pp. 81ps17
DOI: 10.1126/scitranslmed.3001902

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Atherosclerosis is the cause of morbiditiy for 70% of patients with type 2 diabetes. In both of these diseases, a protein complex known as the inflammasome is stimulated to activate interleukin-1β (IL-1β) and IL-18, which are pathogenic inflammatory cytokines. Triggers for the inflammasome are obesity-related factors, such as cholesterol crystals in atherosclerosis, or hyperglycemia, ceramides, and islet amyloid polypeptide in type 2 diabetes. Therapeutics that target IL-1β in clinical trials for type 2 diabetes might also decrease the incidence of atherosclerosis.


  • Citation: S. L. Masters, E. Latz, L. A. J. O’Neill, The Inflammasome in Atherosclerosis and Type 2 Diabetes, Sci. Transl. Med. 3, 81ps17 (2011).

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