Findings from our laboratory indicate that expressions of some proinflammatory cytokines such as tumor necrosis factor, interleukin-6 and oxidative stress responses are increased in the hypothalamic paraventricular nucleus (PVN) and contribute to the progression of salt-sensitive hypertension. In this study, we determined whether interleukin-1 beta (IL-1β) activation within the PVN contributes to sympathoexcitation during development of salt-dependent hypertension. Eight-week-old male Dahl salt-sensitive (S) rats received a high-salt diet (HS, 8 % NaCl) or a normal-salt diet (NS, 0.3 % NaCl) for 6 weeks, and all rats were treated with bilateral PVN injection of gevokizumab (IL-1β inhibitor, 1 μL of 10 μg) or vehicle once a week. The mean arterial pressure (MAP), heart rate (HR) and plasma norepinephrine (NE) were significantly increased in high-salt-fed rats. In addition, rats with high-salt diet had higher levels of NOX-2, NOX-4 [subunits of NAD (P) H oxidase], IL-1β, NLRP3 (NOD-like receptor family pyrin domain containing 3), Fra-LI (an indicator of chronic neuronal activation) and lower levels of IL-10 in the PVN than normal-diet rats. Bilateral PVN injection of gevokizumab decreased MAP, HR and NE, attenuated the levels of oxidative stress and restored the balance of cytokines. These findings suggest that IL-1β activation in the PVN plays a role in salt-sensitive hypertension.