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Nat Rev Immunol. 2005 Aug;5(8):629-40.

Interleukin-1 and neuronal injury.

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Faculty of Life Sciences, The University of Manchester, Michael Smith Building, Manchester M13 9PT, UK.


Interleukin-1 is a pro-inflammatory cytokine that has numerous biological effects, including activation of many inflammatory processes (through activation of T cells, for example), induction of expression of acute-phase proteins, an important function in neuroimmune responses and direct effects on the brain itself. There is now extensive evidence to support the direct involvement of interleukin-1 in the neuronal injury that occurs in both acute and chronic neurodegenerative disorders. This article discusses the key evidence of a role for interleukin-1 in acute neurodegeneration - for example, stroke and brain trauma - and provides a rationale for targeting the interleukin-1 system as a therapeutic strategy.

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