Role of IL-18 in inflammatory diseases

  • Charles A. Dinarello
Part of the Progress in Inflammation Research book series (PIR)


IL-18 is a member of the interleukin (IL)-1 family. IL-1β and IL-18 are closely related, and both require the intracellular cysteine protease caspase-1 for biological activity. Several autoimmune diseases are thought to be mediated, in part, by IL-18. Many are those with associated elevated interferon-γ (IFN-γ) levels, such as systemic lupus erythematosus, macrophage activation syndrome, rheumatoid arthritis, Crohn’s disease, psoriasis and graft versus host disease. In addition, ischemia, including acute renal failure in humans, appears to involve IL-18. Animal studies also support the concept that IL-18 is a key player in models of lupus erythematosus, atherosclerosis, graft versus host disease and hepatitis. Unexpectedly, IL-18 plays a role in appetite control and the development of obesity. The IL-18-binding protein, a naturally occurring, specific inhibitor of IL-18, neutralizes IL-18 activities and has been shown to be safe in patients. Other options for reducing IL-18 activities are inhibitors of capsase-1, human monoclonal antibodies to IL-18, soluble IL-18 receptors and anti-IL-18 receptor monoclonal antibodies.


P2X7 Receptor Soluble Cytokine Receptor Toll Domain 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Birkhäuser Verlag Basel/Switzerland 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Charles A. Dinarello
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Medicine, Division of Infectious DiseasesUniversity of Colorado DenverAuroraUSA

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