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Br J Pharmacol. Nov 1992; 107(3): 660–664.
PMCID: PMC1907751

The pivotal role of tumour necrosis factor alpha in the development of inflammatory hyperalgesia.


1. The hyperalgesic activities in rats of interleukin-1 beta (IL-1 beta), IL-6, IL-8, tumour necrosis factor alpha (TNF alpha) and carrageenin were investigated. 2. IL-6 activated the previously delineated IL-1/prostaglandin hyperalgesic pathway but not the IL-8/sympathetic mediated hyperalgesic pathway. 3. TNF alpha and carrageenin activated both pathways. 4. Antiserum neutralizing endogenous TNF alpha abolished the response to carrageenin whereas antisera neutralizing endogenous IL-1 beta, IL-6 and IL-8 each partially inhibited the response. 5. The combination of antisera neutralizing endogenous IL-1 beta + IL-8 or IL-6 + IL-8 abolished the response to carrageenin. 6. These results show that TNF alpha has an early and crucial role in the development of inflammatory hyperalgesia. 7. The delineation of the role of TNF alpha, IL-1 beta, IL-6 and IL-8 in the development of inflammatory hyperalgesia taken together with the finding that the production of these cytokines is inhibited by steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs provides a mechanism of action for these drugs in the treatment of inflammatory hyperalgesia.

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