Preterm birth (PTB) is a leading cause of neonatal mortality and morbidity worldwide, and represents a heavy economic and social burden. Despite its broad etiology, PTB has been firmly linked to inflammatory processes. Pro-inflammatory cytokines are produced in gestational tissues in response to stressors and can prematurely induce uterine activation, which precedes the onset of preterm labor. Of all cytokines implicated, interleukin (IL)-1 has been largely studied, revealing a central role in preterm labor. However, currently approved IL-1-targeting therapies have failed to show expected efficacy in pre-clinical studies of preterm labor. Herein, we (a) summarize animal and human studies in which IL-1 or IL-1-targeting therapeutics are implicated with preterm labor, (b) focus on novel IL-1-targeting therapies and diagnostic tests, and (c) develop the case for commercialization and translation means to hasten their development.
- Preterm birth
- Preterm labor
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
- Immunology and Allergy
- General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology