Dermal fillers do not induce upregulation of NLRP3 inflammasomes or expression of inflammatory cytokines in granulomas

Markus Reinholz, Benjamin M. Clanner-Engelshofen, Markus V. Heppt, Enklajd Marsela, Yoshio Kawakami, Luitgard G. Wiest, Lars E. French, Wilhelm Stolz, Gerd G. Gauglitz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Filling materials have increasingly been used in aesthetics over the last decades. Understanding the pathophysiology of granuloma formation as a very relevant unwanted side effect of filler application may be essential to help avoid these adverse events. Aims: Our aim was to investigate the role of the inflammasome in the formation of filler granuloma, as a central column of the innate immune response. Methods: RPMI 1640 medium was used for growth of THP-1 cells and the induction of THP-1 macrophages. Sonication was applied in order to crush the acrylic particles of the filler. ELISA was the method of analysis for the specific cytokines. Biopsy specimens of filler granuloma were analyzed by various immunohistochemical methods. GraphPad Prism 5 software was used for the statistical data analysis. Results: Neither was the sensor NALP3 overexpressed, nor could an elevated expression of cleaved IL-1β, IL-18, or IFN-γ be detected. Furthermore, no increased expression of IL-8 or IL-1β was detectable in vitro. Conclusion: No increased inflammasome activation could be observed; however, filler granulomas were infiltrated with granulocytes and macrophages. Therefore, we speculate that an unspecific immune response might be the key player in the formation of filler granuloma.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2838-2844
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Cosmetic Dermatology
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - Nov 1 2020


  • caspase
  • fillers
  • granuloma
  • inflammasome
  • interleukins

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Dermatology


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