Background: Endometriosis is an inflammatory gynaecological disease with an
associated chronic inflammation. Interleukin(IL)-1 is one of the most important immune and
proinflammatory factors, produced mainly by monocytes and macrophages. Studies indicate
the role of the cytokine from IL-1 family in endometrium-related disorders, particularly in endometriosis.
Methods: The information about the impact of cytokine from IL-1 cytokine family on the
pathogenesis and development of endometriosis was obtained with an electronic literature
search based on the PubMed and Medline databases, spanning the period of January 1950 to
July 2017 and includes associated references in the published studies.
Results: The impairment of the IL-1 family cytokine-network may lead to changes in the activation
of immune system in the peritoneal cavity of women with endometriosis. The aberrant
ectopic endometrial cell properties of adhesion, implantation and proliferation may be the
result of a reduced suppressive capacity controlling the IL-1. The imbalance between IL-1α,
pro-IL-1β, mature IL-1β and sIL-1R2 and sIL-1RAcP in the peritoneal fluid and serum of
women with endometriosis may be linked to the ability of transforming an acute inflammation
into a chronic one. Despite the fact that peritoneal macrophages secrete more antiinflammatory
IL-1Ra and less proinflammatory IL-1 in the peritoneal cavity in affected
women, the inflammation still develops.
Conclusions: This observation clearly suggested a significant inadequacy in the specific regulatory
mechanisms of IL-1 activity at the peritoneal cavity level. The imbalance between all
studied cytokines in endometriosis may escalate peritoneal inflammation and, in consequence,