Circulating interleukin-1 and tumor necrosis factor in septic shock and experimental endotoxin fever

Joseph Gerard Cannon, Ronald G. Tompkins, Jeffrey A. Gelfand, Hamish R. Michie, Gregory G. Stanford, Jos W.M. van der Meer, Stefan Endres, Gerhard Lonnemann, John Corsetti, Bart Chernow, Douglas W. Wilmore, Sheldon M. Wolff, John F. Burke, Charles A. Dinarello

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704 Scopus citations


Interleukins (IL)-1β and -1α and tumor necrosis factor (TNF-α) were measured by radioimmunoassay in plasma samples from 44 healthy individuals, 15 patients in septic shock, and 6 volunteers infused with endotoxin. Plasma IL-1α levels were low (40 pg/ml) or undetectable in all situations. In 67% ofthe healthy subjects, plasma IL-1β levels were <70 pg/ml. Septic patients had higher plasma IL-1β levels (120± 17pg/ml, P =.001);those of surviving patients were higher than those of patients who died (P =.05). Plasma TNF-α concentrations in septic individuals were elevated (119 ± 30 pg/ml) and correlated with severity of illness (r =.73, P =.003), but no correlation was observed between plasma IL-1β and TNF-α concentrations in individual samples. Infusion of endotoxin caused a twofold elevation of IL-1β, from a baseline of 35 ± 5 pg/ml to a maximum of 69 ± 27 pg/ml at 180min (P<.05). Peak TNF-α levels after endotoxin infusion were 15 times higher than IL-1β levels, were attained more rapidly (90 min), and as with the septic patients, did not correlate with IL-1β levels. These data support the concept that plasma IL-1β and TNF-α concentrations are regulated independently and are associated with different clinical outcomes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)79-84
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Infectious Diseases
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1990

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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