The hidden role of NLRP3 inflammasome in obesity-related COVID-19 exacerbations: Lessons for drug repurposing.Br J Pharmacol. 2020 11; 177(21):4921-4930.BJ
COVID-19, the illness caused by SARS-CoV-2, has a wide-ranging clinical spectrum that, in the worst-case scenario, involves a rapid progression to severe acute respiratory syndrome and death. Epidemiological data show that obesity and diabetes are among the main risk factors associated with high morbidity and mortality. The increased susceptibility to SARS-CoV-2 infection documented in obesity-related metabolic derangements argues for initial defects in defence mechanisms, most likely due to an elevated systemic metabolic inflammation ("metaflammation"). The NLRP3 inflammasome is a master regulator of metaflammation and has a pivotal role in the pathophysiology of either obesity or diabetes. Here, we discuss the most recent findings suggesting contribution of NLRP3 inflammasome to the increase in complications in COVID-19 patients with diabesity. We also review current pharmacological strategies for COVID-19, focusing on treatments whose efficacy could be due, at least in part, to interference with the activation of the NLRP3 inflammasome. LINKED ARTICLES: This article is part of a themed issue on The Pharmacology of COVID-19. To view the other articles in this section visit http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/bph.v177.21/issuetoc.