Reduced adrenal response to bacterial lipopolysaccharide in interleukin-6-deficient mice.
SourceJournal of Endocrinological Investigation, 24, 10, (2001), pp. 786--95
Article / Letter to editor
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Journal of Endocrinological Investigation
SubjectThe role of cytokines in the pathophysiology of febrile illnesses and in host defense against infections; Lipoproteins and atherosclerose; Malaria: parasite-host interaction; Chemical Endocrinology; De rol van cytokinen in de pathofysiologie van koortsende ziekten en in de afweer tegen infecties; Lipoproteïnen en atherosclerose; Malaria: gastheer-parasiet interactie
Administration of bacterial lipopolysaccharide (LPS) in rodents induces the release of pro-inflammatory cytokines [tumor necrosis factor (TNF), interleukin (IL)-1, IL-6] and of ACTH and corticosterone. IL-6 is probably an important cytokine in the interaction between the immune system and the hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis, but so far the role of IL-6 in lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-induced HPA activation has not been established unequivocally. We examined the effects of intraperitoneal administration of LPS (range 0.25-2000 pg/mouse) on plasma corticosterone, TNFalpha and IL-1alpha levels in IL-6-deficient (IL-6 -/-) and wildtype control (IL-6 +/+) mice. Plasma corticosterone levels increased within one hour in both mouse strains. The corticosterone response was significantly reduced in IL-6 -/- mice, but no differences in TNFalpha or in IL-1alpha plasma levels were found between the two strains. Next, we studied the involvement of IL-1alpha or TNFalpha in the responses to LPS in IL-6 -/- and IL-6 +/+ mice by infusion of recombinant human IL-1 receptor antagonist (IL-1ra), or by injection of anti-TNFalpha antibodies. Pretreatment with IL-1ra or with anti-TNFalpha did not affect the corticosterone response to LPS, neither in IL-6 -/-, nor in IL-6 +/+ mice. Our data suggest that in the stimulation of the HPA axis by LPS in mice blockade of either IL-1alpha or TNFalpha may be compensated for by other mediators. The reduced adrenal response after LPS administration found in IL-6 -/- mice indicates a distinct role for IL-6 in the activation of the HPA axis by LPS.
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