Interleukin-1 Shows Promise as Therapy for Ischemic Stroke

“On the basis of evidence currently available, IL-1 RA is an attractive candidate drug for clinical trial.” Interleukin-1 is an anti-inflammatory protein typically used to treat rheumatoid arthritis.

Interleukin-1 receptor antagonist (IL-1 RA) is a step closer to becoming a candidate for therapy in cases of ischemic stroke, according to a recent systematic analysis of its effects in animal models. The updated analysis was published in the journal Translational Stroke Research on August 15, 2016, and was authored by Sarah McCann, PhD, of the Center for Clinical Brain Sciences at the University of Edinburgh in Scotland, and colleagues.

Originally published in 2009, the recently updated analysis included information from 21 sources, 11 of which were not in the earlier version. Studies which compared the effects of IL-1 RA in live, whole animals with focal cerebral ischemia to control groups were included. “The primary endpoint was infarct area or volume, and secondary endpoints were neurobehavioral scores and mortality,” say the reviewers.

After analyzing the 25 studies, the researchers say, “treatment with IL-1 RA leads to substantial improvements in outcome in preclinical models of ischemic stroke, whether measured as reduced infarct volume or improved neurobehavioral outcome.” There is now more evidence supporting its use than there was in 2009, in part due to “deliberate efforts to test efficacy in circumstances identified as requiring further evidence,” according to the researchers.

In addition to verifying the mounting evidence in favor of IL-1 RA as a treatment for ischemic stroke, the authors say this review “is the first update to a preclinical systematic review where the changes over time in a field can be charted and the possible impacts of systematic review on the directions taken by researchers investigated,” adding that the first review “led researchers to address many of the evidence gaps and contributed to substantial improvements in the reporting measures to reduce the risk of bias.”

They conclude, “On the basis of evidence currently available, IL-1 RA is an attractive candidate drug for clinical trial.” Interleukin-1 is an anti-inflammatory protein typically used to treat rheumatoid arthritis.