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This article is part of the Research Topic

IL-1 Family Members in Health and Disease

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Front. Immunol. | doi: 10.3389/fimmu.2019.01266

Divergent roles for the IL-1 family in gastrointestinal homeostasis and inflammation

  • 1School of Biochemistry and Immunology, Trinity College Dublin, Ireland
  • 2University of Manchester, United Kingdom

Inflammatory disorders of the gastro-intestinal tract are a major cause of morbidity and significant
burden from a health and economic perspective in industrialized countries. While the incidence of
such conditions has a strong environmental component, in particular dietary composition,
epidemiological studies have identified specific hereditary mutations which result in disequilibrium
between pro- and anti-inflammatory factors. The IL-1 super-family of cytokines and receptors is highly
pleiotropic and plays a fundamental role in the pathogenesis of several autoimmune and
inflammatory conditions including rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis and psoriasis. However, the
role of this super-family in the aetiology of inflammatory bowel diseases remains incompletely
resolved despite extensive research. Herein, we highlight the currently accepted paradigms as they
pertain to specific IL-1 family members and focus on some recently described non-classical roles for
these pathways in the gastrointestinal tract. Finally, we address some of the shortcomings and sources
of variance in the field which to date have yielded several conflicting results from similar studies and
discuss the potential effect of these factors on data interpretation.

Keywords: cytokine, Inflammation Immunomodulation, gastrointestinal, Interleukin - 1, inflammatory bowel conditions

Received: 11 Feb 2019; Accepted: 17 May 2019.

Edited by:

Sarah L. Doyle, Trinity College Dublin, Ireland

Reviewed by:

Aldo Tagliabue, Institute for Genetic and Biomedical Research (IRGB), Italy
Ruaidhri Carmody, University of Glasgow, United Kingdom  

Copyright: © 2019 Lavelle, McEntee and Finlay. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

* Correspondence: Prof. Ed C. Lavelle, Trinity College Dublin, School of Biochemistry and Immunology, Dublin, Dublin 2, Ireland,