Detection of interleukin-1 and interleukin-6 in adult rat brain, following mechanical injury, by in vivo microdialysis: evidence of a role for microglia in cytokine production

Woodroofe, M. N.; Sarna, G. S.; Wadhwa, M.; Hayes, G. M.; Loughlin, A. J.; Tinker, A. and Cuzner, M. L. (1991). Detection of interleukin-1 and interleukin-6 in adult rat brain, following mechanical injury, by in vivo microdialysis: evidence of a role for microglia in cytokine production. Journal of neuroimmunology, 33(3) pp. 227–236.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/0165-5728(91)90110-S

Abstract

In vivo levels of interleukin-1 (IL-1) and IL-6, present in the interstitial spaces of brain, have been repeatedly monitored up to 7 days after insertion of a microdialysis probe, designed to induce mechanical trauma to the brain. IL-1 is barely detectable immediately after implantation but over a 24-48 h period a 15-fold increase is seen. In contrast IL-6 levels at day 0 are high, increasing slightly (10%) by day 1 but decreasing to 40% by day 2. The temporal pattern of IL-6 recovery in the cerebrospinal fluid was similar to that in the dialysate but the levels were significantly lower and may reflect diffusion from the site of the probe lesion. Cellular sources of these cytokines include macrophages and neutrophils, which have infiltrated the lesion and microglia resident in the brain, which can be identified at the lesion site within 24 h of probe implantation. The astrocytic response to injury, evidenced by increased glial fibrillary acidic protein staining occurs much later, by day 7, and is unlikely to be responsible for IL-1 and IL-6 production found at 24-48 h. Since upon isolation and stimulation of microglia in vitro with lipopolysaccharide IL-1 and IL-6 can be measured in the supernatant, it would appear that they have the capacity to produce cytokines in vivo. Localised synthesis of cytokines at sites of brain injury by microglia would further stimulate microglia in an autocrine manner and also propagate the astrocytic reaction.

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