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Am J Vet Res. 1992 May;53(5):753-6.

Effect of experimentally induced endotoxemia on serum interleukin-6 activity in horses.

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Department of Large Animal Medicine, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Georgia, Athens 30602.


A study was conducted to determine whether serum interleukin-6 (IL-6) activity increased in horses during experimentally induced endotoxemia and whether serum IL-6 activity correlated to changes in clinical or laboratory data. Six clinically normal horses were given endotoxin IV (30 ng/kg of body weight) in 0.9% NaCl solution over 1 hour. Five of these and 1 additional horse served as controls and were given only 0.9% NaCl solution. Venous blood, for determination of serum IL-6 activity and WBC count, was collected before and at various times through 8 hours after the start of endotoxin or NaCl infusion. Rectal temperature and heart and respiratory rates were recorded throughout the study period. Serum IL-6 activity was determined by bioassay of proliferation of the B13.29 clone B.9 hybridoma cell line. From 1.5 through 5 hours after start of the infusion, serum IL-6 activity was significantly (P less than 0.05) increased in horses given endotoxin. Mean peak serum IL-6 activity was observed between 3 and 4 hours. In response to endotoxin infusion, horses became lethargic, tachycardic, and febrile. Leukopenia developed by 1 hour, followed by leukocytosis at 8 hours. Significant (P less than 0.05) positive association and linear correlation were apparent between mean serum IL-6 activity and mean rectal temperature in the group of horses that were given endotoxin. Changes from baseline were not evident in any of the clinical or laboratory values in horses given only NaCl solution.

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