Inflammation begins with a trigger

Posted on : 11-06-2011 | By : Fabio Sanchez | In : Articles

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Our bodies are programmed to save heat when exposed to cold environments and to lose heat in warm environments. When we are cold, our peripheral circulation slows down, our muscles contract and shake and our movements become sluggish. In warm places we release heat through the widening of blood vessels and sweating. Our neuro-hormonal thermostat regulates all body systems in order to maintain the right temperature, which translates into metabolic balance inside our bodies. Similar systems function in an autonomous manner to keep our energy supply, to contain or control injuries after trauma, to promote reproductive behavior, etc. Metabolic programs, reflexes and instinctive behavior help us maintain our basic functions in balance, they are essential tools that allow us to adapt to our environment. Inflammation is an essential mechanism whose primary function is to contain and repair any damage to our organs. In reality it is not possible to think about inflammation as an isolated mechanism. Whenever it becomes activated, all other systems in the body are affected.  Inflammation results from the crosstalk between many different bodily functions in response to some external challenge. Scientists are finding evidence that certain groups of molecules initiate and propagate the inflammatory responses.They have been named inflammasomes.   What are inflammasomes? why are they relevant to inflammatory diseases? Do they really exist or are they constructs of our imagination?