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The pyrin inflammasome aggravates inflammatory cell migration in patients with familial Mediterranean fever



Familial Mediterranean fever (FMF) is an autoinflammatory disease caused by pathogenic variants of the MEFV gene, which encodes pyrin. Leukocyte migration to serosal sites is a key event during inflammation in FMF. The pyrin inflammasome is a multiprotein complex involved in inflammation. Here, we aimed to determine the relationship between inflammatory cell migration and the pyrin inflammasome in FMF patients.


Monocytes were isolated from blood samples collected from patients with FMF, healthy controls, and a patient with cryopyrin-associated periodic syndrome (CAPS), which served as a disease control. Inflammasome proteins were analyzed under inflammasome activation and inhibition by western blotting. Cell migration assays were performed with the isolated primary monocytes as well as THP-1 monocytes and THP-1-derived macrophages.


When the pyrin inflammasome was suppressed, migration of monocytes from FMF patients was significantly decreased compared to the migration of monocytes from the CAPS patient and healthy controls. Cell line experiments showed a relationship between pyrin inflammasome activation and cell migration.


These findings suggest that the increased cell migration in FMF is due to the presence of more active pyrin inflammasome. This study contributes to our understanding of the role of pyrin in inflammatory cell migration through inflammasome formation.


  • The pyrin inflammasome may play a role in inflammatory cell migration.

  • FMF patients show a pyrin inflammasome-dependent increase in inflammatory cell migration.

  • Correlations between the pyrin inflammasome and cell migration were observed in both THP-1 monocytes and THP-1-derived macrophages.

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Fig. 1: Expression analysis of inflammasome proteins.
Fig. 2: Determination of monocyte migration and IL-1β secretion.
Fig. 3: Comparison of inhibition of cell migration and IL-1β secretion in study group.
Fig. 4: Transwell experiments performed in THP-1 cells.
Fig. 5: Wound healing assay performed in THP-1-derived macrophages.


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We would like to give special thanks to J.J. Chae (National Institutes of Health, USA) for providing the pyrin antibody, arachidonic acid, and valuable advice during the project. This study was funded by Hacettepe University Scientific Research Projects Coordination Unit [grant number TYL-2018-17354].

Author information




T.H.A., Z.Y.A.-U., and B.B.-P.: conceptualization; T.H.A.: investigation; T.H.A., S.D., and S.O.: resources; T.H.A.: writing the original draft; B.B.-P. and S.O.: writing the review and Editing; T.H.A., Z.Y.A.-U., and B.B.-P.: funding acquisition. All authors have read and approved the final manuscript.

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Banu Balci-Peynircioglu.

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The authors declare no competing interests.

Statement of consents

The study was approved by the Hacettepe University Non-interventional Clinical Researches Ethics Board (GO 17/514). Written consent was obtained from all parents and children.

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Akbaba, T.H., Akkaya-Ulum, Y.Z., Demir, S. et al. The pyrin inflammasome aggravates inflammatory cell migration in patients with familial Mediterranean fever. Pediatr Res (2021).

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