J Biol Regul Homeost Agents. 2019 Nov-Dec;33(6):1981-1985. doi: 10.23812/EditorialCaraffa.

CAR-T cell therapy causes inflammation by IL-1 which activates inflammatory cytokine mast cells: anti-inflammatory role of IL-37.

Caraffa Al1, Gallenga CE2, Kritas SK3, Ronconi G4, Di Emidio P5, Pio Conti 6.

Author information

1 School of Pharmacy, University of Camerino, Camerino, Italy.
2 Department of Biomedical Sciences and Specialist Surgery, Section of Ophthalmology, University of Ferrara, Ferrara, Italy.
3 Department of Microbiology and Infectious Diseases, School of Veterinary Medicine, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Macedonia, Greece.
4 Clinica dei Pazienti del Territorio, Fondazione Policlinico Gemelli, Rome, Italy.
5 Maxillofacial Surgery, “Mazzini” Hospital, Teramo, Italy.
6 Postgraduate Medical School, University of Chieti, Chieti, Italy.


Chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T cells are genetically modified T cells that act against cancer. When CAR-T cells are administered they can trigger inflammatory cytokines and increase toxicity. Interleukin (IL)-1 is the classic cytokine that mediates inflammatory reactions including those that occur in CAR-T-cell therapy. IL-1 also induces IL-33 in mast cells (MCs), amplifying the allergic reaction. IL- 37 (ILF7) is an IL-1 family member which binds IL-18 receptor alpha (IL-18Rα) chain and suppresses innate and acquired immunity. IL-37 is an anti-inflammatory cytokine which inhibits pro-inflammatory cytokines including IL-1 and IL-33. Here, we hypothesize that inflammation and toxicity generated in tumor CAR-T therapy could be inhibited by IL-37, contributing to an improvement in the treatment of tumors with CAR-T therapy.



CAR-T therapy, chimeric antigen receptor, cytokines, mast cells

Publication type

  • Editorial

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