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Immunology. 1988 Jun;64(2):301-5.

IL-1 and IFN-gamma increase vascular permeability.

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  • 1Diabetes Research Institute, University of Düsseldorf, FRG.


We examined the effect of cytokines on vascular permeability in vivo. Wistar rats received intradermal injections of various cytokine preparations and the permeability index (delta PI) was calculated from the difference between the absorption values of cytokine- and vehicle-treated skin sections after the extraction of accumulated Evans blue vital dye. Injections of a mixture of recombinant interleukin-1 alpha and beta (Il-1 alpha, IL-1 beta) and interferon-gamma (IFN-gamma) caused a maximal increase of permeability after 30 min (delta PI = 2). The administration of single recombinant cytokines revealed that the increase of permeability is mainly due to the action of IL-1 beta (delta PI = 1.4) and IFN-gamma (delta PI = 2.9) (P less than 0.001) at doses of 1-20 microU per injection site. IL-1 alpha slightly increased vascular permeability, whereas recombinant IL-2 and recombinant tumour necrosis factor alpha had no significant effects. Histological observations revealed significantly increased numbers of degranulated mast cells in skin sections pretreated with IL-1 beta (P less than 0.005) or IFN-gamma (P less than 0.001). The cytokine-mediated rise of vascular permeability could be suppressed by pretreatment of the animals with the vasoactive amine antagonizing drugs methysergide, pizotifen and cyproheptadine. Our experiments indicate an important role of IL-1 beta and IFN-gamma as vasoactive substances besides their function as hormone-like messengers between leucocytes.

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