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Brain Res Rev. 2009 Apr;60(1):57-64. doi: 10.1016/j.brainresrev.2008.12.020. Epub 2008 Dec 31.

Role of interleukin-1beta during pain and inflammation.

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Department of Neural and Pain Sciences, Dental School & Program in Neuroscience, University of Maryland, Baltimore, MD 21201-1586, USA.


The cytokine cascade in pain and inflammatory processes is a tremendously complex system, involving glial, immune, and neuronal cell interactions. IL-1beta is a pro-inflammatory cytokine that has been implicated in pain, inflammation and autoimmune conditions. This review will focus on studies that shed light on the critical role of IL-1beta in various pain states, including the role of the intracellular complex, the inflammasome, which regulates IL-1beta production. Evidence will be presented demonstrating the importance of IL-1beta in both the induction of pain and in the maintenance of pain in chronic states, such as after nerve injury. Additionally, the involvement of IL-1beta as a key mediator in the interaction between glia and neurons in pain states will be discussed. Taken together, the evidence presented in the current review showing the importance of IL-1beta in animal and human pain states, suggests that blockade of IL-1beta be considered as a therapeutic opportunity.

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