Blood Journal
Leading the way in experimental and clinical research in hematology

Interleukin-1 in the pathogenesis and treatment of inflammatory diseases

  1. Charles A. Dinarello1,2
  1. 1Department of Medicine, University of Colorado, Aurora, CO; and
  2. 2Department of Medicine, Radboud University Nijmegen Medical Center, Nijmegen, The Netherlands

Abstract

More than any other cytokine family, the IL-1 family of ligands and receptors is primarily associated with acute and chronic inflammation. The cytosolic segment of each IL-1 receptor family member contains the Toll-IL-1-receptor domain. This domain is also present in each Toll-like receptor, the receptors that respond to microbial products and viruses. Since Toll-IL-1-receptor domains are functional for both receptor families, responses to the IL-1 family are fundamental to innate immunity. Of the 11 members of the IL-1 family, IL-1β has emerged as a therapeutic target for an expanding number of systemic and local inflammatory conditions called autoinflammatory diseases. For these, neutralization of IL-1β results in a rapid and sustained reduction in disease severity. Treatment for autoimmune diseases often includes immunosuppressive drugs whereas neutralization of IL-1β is mostly anti-inflammatory. Although some autoinflammatory diseases are due to gain-of-function mutations for caspase-1 activity, common diseases such as gout, type 2 diabetes, heart failure, recurrent pericarditis, rheumatoid arthritis, and smoldering myeloma also are responsive to IL-1β neutralization. This review summarizes acute and chronic inflammatory diseases that are treated by reducing IL-1β activity and proposes that disease severity is affected by the anti-inflammatory members of the IL-1 family of ligands and receptors.

  • Submitted July 12, 2010.
  • Accepted January 18, 2011.
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