Endotoxin is a component of gram-negative bacteria that causes hematologic and immunologic changes through its induction of cytokines. Interleukin-1 receptor antagonist (IL-1Ra) is a naturally occurring inhibitor of IL-1 that competes with IL-1 for occupancy of cell-surface receptors but possesses no agonist activity. We investigated the ability of human recombinant IL-1Ra to block the effects of low-dose endotoxin. Fourteen healthy male volunteers between 18 and 30 years old were injected intravenously with 3 ng/kg Escherichia coli endotoxin. Concurrent with the injections, nine volunteers received a 3-hour continuous intravenous infusion of IL-1Ra. The other five subjects were given a 3-hour infusion of saline. Volunteers injected with endotoxin experienced a threefold increase in circulating neutrophils over baseline. This neutrophilia was significantly reduced by 48% in subjects administered endotoxin plus IL-1Ra (P = .0253). Ex vivo mitogen-induced peripheral blood mononuclear cell proliferation decreased by greater than 60% at 3 and 6 hours after endotoxin injection (P = .0053). This endotoxin- induced reduction in mitogen response was reversed in subjects coinjected with IL-1Ra (P = .0253). Endotoxin-induced symptoms, fever, and tachycardia were unaffected by IL-1Ra. IL-1 appears to be an important mediator in endotoxemia because some of its hematologic and immunomodulatory effects can be blocked by IL-1Ra.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cell Biology