• cytokines;
  • IL-1β;
  • type 2 diabetes;
  • inflammation

Metabolic diseases are associated with activation of the innate immune system in various tissues and characterized by elevated inflammatory factors and the presence of immune cells. Type 2 diabetes develops when islet beta cells are deficient in producing sufficient insulin to overcome peripheral insulin resistance. Intra-islet IL-1β activity diminishes beta cell function and survival and governs islet inflammation. Targeting the IL-1 system with the IL-1 receptor antagonist IL1Ra improved insulin secretion, glycaemia and reduced systemic inflammation in a proof of concept study with patients with type 2 diabetes. Currently, long lasting and specific IL-1β blocking antibodies are being evaluated in clinical trials and this may lead to a novel cytokine-based treatment for type 2 diabetes.