The role of IL-1 in postprandial fatigue

Mol Metab. 2018 Jun:12:107-112. doi: 10.1016/j.molmet.2018.04.001. Epub 2018 Apr 12.


Objectives: Cytokines such as IL-1 seems to play a role in the pathogenesis of fatigue associated with some chronic diseases and anti-inflammatory treatment has been shown to reduce these symptoms. Ingestion of a calorie rich meal leads to postprandial fatigue, and is associated with increased systemic concentrations of cytokines, which is more pronounced in obese than lean subjects. We investigated whether postprandial fatigue is regulated by IL-1, and therefore reduced by IL-1 antagonism, in lean and obese subjects.

Methods: In a double-blind, crossover study in 8 lean and 8 obese male subjects, randomized to receive either saline (placebo) or the IL-1 receptor antagonist anakinra, we investigated whether postprandial fatigue was regulated by IL-1. To promote postprandial fatigue, subjects ran 30 min prior to a high-fat, high-carbohydrate meal. Fatigue was determined using the Stanford Sleepiness Scale and blood samples were drawn at baseline and after the intervention.

Results: IL-1 antagonism led to a reduction in postprandial fatigue and this effect was more pronounced in obese than lean individuals.

Conclusions: We conclude that IL-1 is involved in the regulation of postprandial fatigue under physiologic conditions in lean and obese individuals. It remains to be shown whether this effect translates into clinical relevant effects.

Keywords: Anakinra and obesity; Interleukin-1; Postprandial fatigue.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Diet, Carbohydrate Loading / adverse effects
  • Diet, High-Fat / adverse effects
  • Fatigue / drug therapy
  • Fatigue / etiology
  • Fatigue / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Interleukin 1 Receptor Antagonist Protein / administration & dosage
  • Interleukin 1 Receptor Antagonist Protein / pharmacology
  • Interleukin 1 Receptor Antagonist Protein / therapeutic use
  • Interleukin-1 / blood*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Obesity / metabolism*
  • Postprandial Period / drug effects*
  • Sleepiness*


  • Interleukin 1 Receptor Antagonist Protein
  • Interleukin-1