Anti-Interleukin-1α Antibody May Be Potential IBD Therapy, Study in Mice Suggests

Anti-Interleukin-1α Antibody May Be Potential IBD Therapy, Study in Mice Suggests
By blocking a key player in gut inflammation, a molecule called interleukin-1α (IL-1α) was highly effective at reducing disease severity in a mouse model of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), a recent study showed. This finding may pave the way for the development of new biological therapies for people with IBD, the researchers believe. The study, titled “Neutralization of IL-1α ameliorates Crohn’s disease-like ileitis by functional alterations of the gut microbiome,” was published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis are the two most common forms of IBD, which affects about 3 million adults in the U.S., according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The condition develops due to abnormalities of the gut microbiome and the intestinal immune system. The gut microbiome refers to the population of microbes — bacteria, fungi, and viruses — that live within the intestine and have a crucial role in the proper functioning of the digestive system. Alterations to the gut microbiome are associated with IBD. In an effort to understand more about the disease, researchers are looking to identify factors that contribute to its development. In particular, scientists are interested in the role of cytokines —small molecules that are secreted by immune cells and have an effect on other cells — in IBD. Among the different types of cytokines, interleukin (IL)-1 family members, such as IL-1α or IL-1β, play a pivotal role in the mechanisms of inflammation. However, only a few preclinical studies have investigated the role of either IL-1α or IL-1β in mouse models of colitis, and clinical trials blocking IL-1 have yet to be performed. Now, researchers from Case Weste
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