Anakinra in rheumatoid arthritis

  • Barry Bresnihan
Part of the Progress in Inflammation Research book series (PIR)


Interleukin-1 (IL-1) plays a central role in the pathophysiology of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) [1]. The IL-1 gene family includes IL-1α, IL-lβ and IL-1 receptor antagonist (IL-IRa) [2], Extracellular IL-lα, which is membrane-associated, and IL- lβ, which is the soluble form, are agonist molecules that can influence the functions of most cell types. Activated monocytes and macrophages are the principal source of IL-la and IL-lβ. There are two distinct IL-1 receptors, designated type I (IL-1RI) and type II (IL-1RII) [3, 4]. IL-1 binding to IL-1RI results in signal transduction and cell activation. IL-1RII is a “decoy” receptor that functions by scavenging IL-la and IL-lβ, but does not have a role in cell signaling [5]. Soluble IL-1RII (sIL-lRII) is important in regulating IL-l-mediated functions. Binding of IL-1 to IL-1RI produces many effects that are central to the pathogenesis of RA [3, 4, 6, 7, 8]. The pivotal role of IL-1 in the pathophysiology of RA was highlighted by inducing the pathologic features of RA in rabbits following transfer of the human IL-lβ gene, resulting in the constitutive expression of IL-lβ by synovial cells [9].


Rheumatoid Arthritis Health Assessment Questionnaire Score Infectious Episode Rheumatoid Arthritis Clinical Trial Anakinra Treatment 
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Copyright information

© Birkhäuser Verlag Basel/Switzerland 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Barry Bresnihan
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of RheumatologySt Vincent’s University HospitalDublin 4Ireland

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