Elisabetta Borella MD, Lavinia Palma MD, Margherita Zen MD, Silvano Bettio MD, Linda Nalotto MD, Mariele Gatto MD, Marta Domeneghetti MD, Luca Iaccarino MD, Leonardo Punzi and Andrea Doria MD
Autoinflammatory (AIF) and autoimmune (AIM) diseases are chronic immune disorders characterized by dysregulation of the immune system. Most AIF diseases are monogenic diseases which lead to hyperactivation of the inflammasome and release of pro-inflammatory cytokines, such as interleukin-1 (IL-1) and IL-18, resulting in tissue inflammation. Besides, the main feature of autoimmune diseases is the loss of tolerance of the adaptive immune cells against self antigens. Most AIF diseases are polygenic and numerous immune pathogens are involved in organ damage. The involvement of some AIF-associated mechanisms in AIM diseases, i.e., the activation of the inflammasome and the role of IL-1, was recently recognized. Moreover, some single nucleotide polymorphisms of the inflammasome genes have been proven to be involved in the development of AIF-related inflammatory features in autoimmune patients. These observations raise the possibility of using some anti-inflammatory drugs, like IL-1 antagonists, in autoimmune diseases with autoinflammatory features.