The presence of reactive oxygen species (ROS) leads to the oxidation of thioredoxin and consequent release of TXNIP (Zhou et al. 2010). The source of the ROS is unclear but they are known to be essential for caspase-1 activation (Cruz et al. 2007) and are produced in response to all known NLRP3 activators (Dostert et al. 2008, Zhou et al. 2010). The freed TXNIP binds NLRP3 and is proposed to activate the NLRP3 inflammasome, explaining how ROS can bring about NLRP3 activation.