JOURNAL ARTICLE
RESEARCH SUPPORT, NON-U.S. GOV'T
REVIEW
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Inflammation and pericarditis: Are neutrophils actors behind the scenes?

The morbidity of acute pericarditis is increasing over time impacting on patient quality of life. Recent clinical trials focused especially on clinical aspects, with a modest interest in pathophysiological mechanisms. This narrative review, based on papers in English language obtained via PubMed up to April 2018, aims at focusing on the role of the innate immunity in pericarditis and discussing future potential therapeutic strategies impacting on disease pathophysiology. In developed countries, most cases of pericarditis are referred to as idiopathic, although etiological causes have been described, with autoreactive/lymphocytic, malignant, and infectious ones as the most frequent causes. Apart the known impairment of the adaptive immunity, recently a large body evidence indicated the central role of the innate immune system in the pathogenesis of recurrent pericarditis, starting from similarities with autoinflammatory diseases. Accordingly, the "inflammasome" has been shown to behave as an important player in pericarditis development. Similarly, the beneficial effect of colchicine in recurrent pericarditis confirms that neutrophils are important effectors as colchicine, which can block neutrophil chemotaxis, interferes with neutrophil adhesion and recruitment to injured tissues and abrogate superoxide production. Anyway, the role of the adaptive immune system in pericarditis cannot be reduced to a black or white issue as mechanisms often overlap. Therefore, we believe that more efficient therapeutic strategies have to be investigated by targeting neutrophil-derived mediators (such as metalloproteinases) and disentangling the strict interplay between neutrophils and platelets. In this view, some progress has been done by using the recombinant human interleukin-1 receptor antagonist anakinra.

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