Background: Interleukin-1 (IL-1) is a pro-inflammatory cytokine that is produced by endothelial cells, smooth muscle cells, and macrophages. It is an important regulator of a complex humoral and cellular inflammatory response. IL-1β is known to be implicated in the development of chronic inflammatory disorders such as rheumatoid arthritis. We aimed to review the effects of IL-1β antagonists in various cardiovascular disorders and to discuss their effectiveness in such diseases.
Methods: Major biomedical databases, including PubMed and Scopus, were searched for clinical studies regarding the treatment of cardiovascular diseases (CVD) using IL-1β antagonists. Results: The drugs currently used in clinical trials are anakinra, the monoclonal antibodies canakinumab and gevokizumab, and the soluble decoy receptor rilonacept. There are clinical trials and case reports of patients with CVD in which anakinra administration, at the standard dose, has caused rapid clinical improvement and recovery in a few months. Our comprehensive search revealed that IL-1β antagonists have beneficial effects in the treatment of various cardiovascular disorders such as myocarditis, pericarditis, heart failure, acute coronary syndrome, myocardial infarction, atherosclerosis, and Kawasaki disease.
Conclusion: The present review article shows that IL-1β has a major role in the pathophysiology of cardiovascular disorders, its antagonists have beneficial effects in these conditions, and their use should be considered in future studies.