Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
Abstract Interleukin-18 (IL-18) is a recently identified immunoregulatory cytokine that shares biochemical features with IL-1β and acts in part by inducing interferon-gamma (IFN-γ). Endotoxic bacterial lipopolysaccharide (LPS) (1 or 2 ng/kg) was insufficient to increase plasma IL-18 in five healthy adults measured 3, 12, and 24 hr following challenge. In contrast, in the first 96 hr of admission to the surgical intensive care unit, mean maximal serum IL-18 was elevated (1122 ± 259 pg/ml) in nine septic patients compared to six healthy adults (191 ± 42 pg/ml), P 〈 0.01). Serum IL-18 concentrations in septic patients did not correlate with other measured inflammatory mediators: tumor necrosis factor, IL-6, IL-10, or secretory leukocyte protease inhibitor. Therefore, IL-18 circulates in healthy adults and is a component of the human systemic inflammatory response. Further, stimuli other than LPS may induce IL-18 production in vivo in human sepsis.
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