Send to

Choose Destination
Semin Immunol. 2013 Dec 15;25(6):416-24. doi: 10.1016/j.smim.2013.10.018. Epub 2013 Nov 22.

Interleukin-1β in innate inflammation, autophagy and immunity.

Author information

Department of Internal Medicine, Radboud University Medical Centre, Nijmegen, The Netherlands.
Department of Internal Medicine, Radboud University Medical Centre, Nijmegen, The Netherlands; Department of Medicine, University of Colorado Denver, Aurora, CO, USA. Electronic address:


Although IL-1β is the master inflammatory cytokine in the IL-1 family, after more than ten years of continuous breeding, mice deficient in IL-1β exhibit no spontaneous disease. Therefore, one concludes that IL-1β is not needed for homeostasis. However, IL-1β-deficient mice are protected against local and systemic inflammation due to live infections, autoimmune processes, tumor metastasis and even chemical carcinogenesis. Based on a large number of preclinical studies, blocking IL-1β activity in humans with a broad spectrum of inflammatory conditions has reduced disease severity and for many, has lifted the burden of disease. Rare and common diseases are controlled by blocking IL-1β. Immunologically, IL-1β is a natural adjuvant for responses to antigen. Alone, IL-1β is not a growth factor for lymphocytes; rather in antigen activated immunocompetent cells, blocking IL-1 reduces IL-17 production. IL-1β markedly increases in the expansion of naive and memory CD4T cells in response to challenge with their cognate antigen. The response occurs when only specific CD4T cells respond to IL-1β and not to IL-6 or CD-28. A role for autophagy in production of IL-1β has emerged with deletion of the autophagy gene ATG16L1. Macrophages from ATG16L1-deficient mice produce higher levels of IL-1β after stimulation with TLR4 ligands via a mechanism of caspase-1 activation. The implications for increased IL-1β release in persons with defective autophagy may have clinical importance for disease.


Autophagy; Caspase-1-independent; Innate inflammation; Interleukin-1β

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science
Loading ...
Support Center