IL-1 family members in the pathogenesis and treatment of metabolic disease: Focus on adipose tissue inflammation and insulin resistance
Obesity is characterized by a chronic, low-grade inflammation that contributes to the development of insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes. Cytokines and chemokines produced by immunocompetent cells influence local as well as systemic inflammation and are therefore critical contributors to the pathogenesis of type 2 diabetes. Hence, cytokines that modulate inflammatory responses are emerging as potential targets for intervention and treatment of the metabolic consequences of obesity. The interleukin-1 (IL-1) family of cytokines and receptors are key mediators of innate inflammatory responses and exhibit both pro- and anti-inflammatory functions. During the last decades, mechanistic insights into how the IL-1 family affects the initiation and progression of obesity-induced insulin resistance have increased significantly. Here, we review the current knowledge and understanding, with emphasis on the therapeutic potential of individual members of the IL-1 family of cytokines for improving insulin sensitivity in patients with diabetes.