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Am J Physiol. 1995 Feb;268(2 Pt 1):E255-61.

Differential effects of interleukin-1 receptor antagonist in cytokine- and endotoxin-treated rats.

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  • 1Laboratory of Nutrition/Infection, New England Deaconess Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts 02215.


Previous studies have demonstrated that the administration of the cytokines, interleukin-1 (IL-1) and tumor necrosis factor (TNF)(20 micrograms/kg) to rats in a fasting state can produce many and perhaps most of the metabolic alterations found in patients with sepsis and injury. The purposes of the present study were 1) to define the metabolic effects of IL-1 and TNF during a fed state provided by continuous intravenous feeding for 20 h and 2) to characterize the unique effects of IL-1 among the overall response to cytokines by using IL-1 receptor antagonist (IL-1RA; 5 mg/kg). The effects were also explored during the endotoxemic condition induced by infusion of 200 micrograms/kg of endotoxin into rats. The results showed that during feeding IL-1 is responsible for the increase in glucose flux and plasma insulin, the development of insulin resistance, and plasma zinc depression during condition mimicking sepsis and injury, similar to effects observed in the fasting state. The changes in energy expenditure have a more complex mechanism. The results also suggested that certain host responses to cytokines or endotoxin, particularly related to protein metabolism, differed between the fed and fasting states. These data may have a special clinical relevance for the insulin-resistant state that develops during severe infection, since using IL-1RA in conjunction with nutritional therapy may offer additional advantages in the treatment of these severe metabolic disorders.

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