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Obstetrics

Small molecule halts preterm birth in mice

Inflammation is associated with preterm birth, so researchers developed a small molecule that inhibits the proinflammatory cytokine interleukin 1 which is effective in a mouse model.

A small-molecule allosteric modulator of IL-1, termed rytvela or 101.10 was effective at delaying inflammation-induced preterm birth in mice. In the image, a doctor holds the hand of a pre-term baby in an incubator

Source: Fanfo / Shutterstock.com

Babies born too early are at risk of death from the complications associated with preterm birth, one of the leading causes of infant death worlwide

Complications arising from preterm birth are a leading cause of infant mortality worldwide. Inflammation is strongly associated with preterm birth and the proinflammatory cytokine interleukin (IL)-1 is implicated and, therefore, a therapeutic target. However, inhibitors of IL-1 are relatively ineffective at delaying labour and can cause serious side effects.

Taking a different approach, researchers at the CHU Sainte-Justine research centre at the University of Montreal in Quebec developed a small-molecule allosteric modulator of IL-1, termed rytvela or 101.10. When given to mice, the molecule halted inflammation-induced preterm birth and was shown to decrease expression of proinflammatory genes in myometrial tissue and circulating leukocytes.

Selective inhibition of IL-1 receptor signalling therefore represents a novel strategy to prevent some causes of preterm birth, the researchers write in The Journal of Immunology on 24 August 2015[1].

Citation: The Pharmaceutical Journal DOI: 10.1211/PJ.2015.20069357

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  • A small-molecule allosteric modulator of IL-1, termed rytvela or 101.10 was effective at delaying inflammation-induced preterm birth in mice. In the image, a doctor holds the hand of a pre-term baby in an incubator

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