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.