Background: Although in the past, prevention of the joint destruction and disability was
strongly emphasised in Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA), at present, a growing body of evidence is focused
at identifying the best management of associated comorbidities, such as Type 2 Diabetes (T2D). Recently,
the hypothesis that blocking pro-inflammatory activity may be helpful in the treatment of some
comorbidities has been proposed in RA patients.
Objective: We reviewed the role of IL-1β during RA and T2D, the efficacy of IL-1 blocking agents in
controlling both diseases and, possible, decreasing the concomitant enhanced atherosclerotic process.
Method: After literature search, the available evidence has been selected and commented in the text.
Results: During RA, it is well known that different inflammatory cytokines, such as interleukin-1β
(IL-1β), are pivotal pathogenic mediators and their role has been largely confirmed in clinical settings.
Similarly, it has been shown that the excess of nutrients, secondary to over-nutrition, may activate the
immune system, leading to an increased production of inflammatory cytokines, including IL-1β, suggesting
new possible therapeutic targets.
Conclusion: Although further studies are needed to fully investigate the pathogenic interplay between
inflammation and metabolic disorders, IL-1β has been implicated in both RA and T2D pathogenic
mechanisms. Intriguingly, the potential role of anti-IL-1 drugs has been proposed in RA patients affected