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Clin Exp Immunol. 1991 Nov;86(2):256-9.

Cytokines in sera from insulin-dependent diabetic patients at diagnosis.

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1
Division of Immunobiology, National Institute for Biological Standards and Control, South Mimms, UK.

Abstract

Cytokines are known to play an important role in autoimmunity and have been suggested to be involved in the pathogenesis of insulin-dependent diabetes (IDDM). In the present study we have measured IL-1, IL-2, IL-4, IL-6, interferon-gamma (IFN-gamma) and tumour necrosis factor (TNF) (using both immunoassays and bioassays) in sera from 50 patients affected by IDDM at the time of clinical diagnosis and 51 age and sex matched controls. Detectable levels of IL-1, IL-2, IL-6 and IFN-gamma were found in the serum of a small percentage of subjects and were not significantly different between patients and controls. IL-4 was detectable in a higher number of both patients and controls and circulating TNF-alpha (greater than 1 U/ml) was found in a percentage of patients (24%) significantly higher than controls (P less than 0.01). Raised levels of TNF-alpha were detectable using an immunoenzymatic assay whereas TNF bioactivity in these samples was negligible. We conclude that the presence of immunoreactive TNF-alpha in the patient's sera may reflect an increased localized production of this cytokine at pancreatic level. However, the measurement in serum of other cytokines does not add information on the role that they may play in the pathogenesis of IDDM.

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Free PMC Article

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