Send to

Choose Destination
Biochem Pharmacol. 2002 Jul 1;64(1):1-8.

Interleukin-1beta converting enzyme (caspase-1) in intestinal inflammation.

Author information

University of Colorado Health Sciences Center, Division of Infectious Diseases B168, 4200 East Ninth Avenue, Denver, CO 80262, USA.


An imbalance of T helper cell type 1 (Th1) versus type 2 (Th2) polarization in favor of Th1 cell subsets appears to be a key pathogenic mechanism in chronic inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), in particular in Crohn's disease. The interferon gamma-inducing factor interleukin (IL)-18 acts in strong synergism with the Th1 polarizing cytokine IL-12. Recent studies provide evidence for the participation of IL-18 in the pathogenesis of IBD: IL-18 expression is increased in inflamed lesions of Crohn's disease patients and neutralization of IL-18 in different models of experimental colitis resulted in a dramatic amelioration of disease severity. IL-18 and IL-1beta are cleaved and thereby activated by the interleukin-1beta converting enzyme (ICE). Activation of ICE also occurs during different types of infectious colitis, and ICE expression and subsequent release of IL-1beta and IL-18 significantly contribute to intestinal inflammation. ICE knockout mice as well as mice treated with the ICE inhibitor pralnacasan are protected against experimental mucosal inflammation. Thus, inhibition of ICE represents an intriguing new target that requires further investigation in animal models.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science
Loading ...
Support Center