Interleukin 1α and the inflammatory process

Nat Immunol. 2016 Jul 19;17(8):906-13. doi: 10.1038/ni.3503.


Inflammation occurs after disruption of tissue homeostasis by cell stress, injury or infection and ultimately involves the recruitment and retention of cells of hematopoietic origin, which arrive at the affected sites to resolve damage and initiate repair. Interleukin 1α (IL-1α) and IL-1β are equally potent inflammatory cytokines that activate the inflammatory process, and their deregulated signaling causes devastating diseases manifested by severe acute or chronic inflammation. Although much attention has been given to understanding the biogenesis of IL-1β, the biogenesis of IL-1α and its distinctive role in the inflammatory process remain poorly defined. In this review we examine key aspects of IL-1α biology and regulation and discuss its emerging importance in the initiation and maintenance of inflammation that underlie the pathology of many human diseases.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Alarmins / metabolism
  • Animals
  • Cell Membrane / metabolism
  • Gene Expression Regulation
  • Granuloma / etiology
  • Granuloma / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Inflammation / metabolism
  • Inflammation / physiopathology*
  • Interleukin-1alpha / biosynthesis
  • Interleukin-1alpha / genetics
  • Interleukin-1alpha / physiology*
  • Macrophages / physiology
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred BALB C
  • Models, Biological
  • Neoplasms / etiology
  • Neoplasms / metabolism
  • Neoplasms / physiopathology
  • Protein Binding
  • Protein Biosynthesis
  • Protein Processing, Post-Translational
  • Receptors, Interleukin-1 / physiology
  • Signal Transduction


  • Alarmins
  • IL1A protein, human
  • Interleukin-1alpha
  • Receptors, Interleukin-1