Glucocorticoid sensitivity of interleukin-1 agonist and antagonist secretion: The effects of age and gender

Jane M. Daun, Richard W. Ball, Joseph G. Cannon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


Interleukin-1 (IL-1) is a primary mediator of inflammation that is regulated, in part, by the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis. The purpose of this study was to determine if gender- or age-related differences exist in the sensitivity of IL-1-producing cells to hydrocortisone. Peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) isolated from men and women (21-77 yr old) were incubated with hydrocortisone (0, 50, 100, 500, or 1,000 ng/ml) with or without lipopolysaccharide (LPS). Secretion of IL-1β and IL-1 receptor antagonist was inhibited in a dose-dependent manner (P = 0.001) without age- or gender-related differences. Hydrocortisone decreased soluble IL-1 receptor type II (sIL-1RII) secretion by unstimulated cells (P = 0.0001), but it increased secretion by LPS-stimulated cells (P = 0.0001) in all groups. Unstimulated cell supernatants from men contained greater concentrations of sIL-1RII than the supernatants from women (P = 0.011). Compared with men, PBMCs from women were less responsive to hydrocortisone inhibition of sIL- 1RII secretion, regardless of age (P = 0.001), and compared with the follicular phase, sIL-1RII secretion was lower in the luteal phase of the menstrual cycle (P < 0.05). These data indicate that basal secretion and glucocorticoid modulation of sIL-1RII secretion by cultured PBMCs are gender dependent. Moreover, glucocorticoid influences on sIL-1RII secretion depend on the presence or absence of gram-negative bacterial toxins.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)R855-R862
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Regulatory Integrative and Comparative Physiology
Issue number4 47-4
StatePublished - Apr 2000


  • Human mononuclear cells
  • IL-1 receptor antagonist
  • Interleukin-1β
  • Soluble IL-1 receptor type II

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Physiology (medical)


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