The interleukin 1 family is composed by the interleukin 1 (IL-1) and its natural occurring inhibitor, the interleukin 1 receptor antagonist (IL-1Ra). The role of both molecules in rheumatoid arthritis has been widely established, and in this sense new molecules blocking IL-1 actions are under investigation. Anakinra is the recombinant form of IL-1Ra, and has proven to be well tolerated and indicated in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis. Nevertheless, other molecules such as mAb anti-IL-1 and IL-1 Trap are being developed. Moreover, the recent relation of IL-1 in the inflammasome and pathways of innate immunity has lead to new indications of anti-IL-1 molecules, especially in the autoinflammatory syndromes as well as in other inflammatory diseases. Herein we have performed a review of the literature, limited to English language journals (PUBMED search: combination of descriptors IL-1 and anakinra, systemic juvenile idiopathic arthritis, adult's onset Still's disease, autoinflammatory syndromes, gout, pseudogout, ankylosing spondylitis, and systemic lupus erythematosus from January 1985-December 2008) emphasizing the possible new indications. Although sufficient data is not yet available to fully assess the efficacy and safety of anti-IL-1 molecules in patients with inflammatory disorders other than rheumatoid arthritis, new data is promising.
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