Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Rheumatology (Oxford). 2004 Jun;43 Suppl 3:iii2-iii9.

The role of interleukin-1 in the pathogenesis of rheumatoid arthritis.

Author information

Rheumatology Unit, Massachusetts General Hospital, 55 Fruit Street, Boston, MA 02114, USA.


A significant body of experimental evidence has implicated the proinflammatory cytokine IL-1 in the pathogenesis of RA. For example, IL-1beta overexpression in rabbit knee joints causes arthritis with clinical and histological features characteristic of RA, whereas IL-1 deficiency is associated with reduced joint damage. In experimental models, IL-1 blockers, including IL-1 receptor antagonist (IL-1Ra), significantly reduce clinical and histological disease parameters. In RA patients, plasma and synovial fluid concentrations of IL-1 are elevated, and these correlate with various parameters of disease activity. The production of endogenous IL-1Ra, however, appears to be insufficient to balance these higher IL-1 levels. The efficacy of blocking IL-1 in patients with active RA has been established in controlled clinical trials of anakinra, a recombinant human IL-1Ra (r-metHuIL-1ra). When used alone or in combination with methotrexate, anakinra significantly reduces the clinical signs and symptoms of RA compared with placebo. Taken together, these results indicate that IL-1 plays an important role in the pathogenesis of RA.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Silverchair Information Systems
    Loading ...
    Support Center