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J Soc Gynecol Investig. 1996 May-Jun;3(3):121-6.

Interleukin-1 beta intra-amniotic infusion induces tumor necrosis factor-alpha, prostaglandin production, and preterm contractions in pregnant rhesus monkeys.

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Division of Reproductive Sciences, Oregon Regional Primate Research Center, Beaverton 97006, USA.



To describe the temporal and quantitative consequences of intra-amniotic interleukin-1 beta infusion in a nonhuman primate model.


On days 128-138 of gestation (term 167 days), four chronically instrumented rhesus monkeys (Macaca mulatta) underwent serial intra-amniotic infusions of 2, 5, and 10-20 micrograms recombinant human interleukin-1 beta. Each infusion was for 2 hours, and subsequent infusions were at least 48 hours later. Amniotic fluid was sampled serially both before and after infusion for interleukin-1 beta, tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TFN-alpha), and prostaglandin (PG) E2 and F2 alpha by specific assays, and uterine activity in each monkey was recorded continuously.


Intra-amniotic concentrations of interleukin-1 beta rose dramatically after infusion. This rise was rapidly followed by the appearance of TNF-alpha in the amniotic cavities of all animals, with maximal levels reached 5 hours after the initiation of the infusion. Both interleukin-1 beta and TNF-alpha were rapidly cleared from the amniotic fluid and returned to baseline levels by 24-48 hours. Increases in PGE2 and F2 alpha paralleled those of the two cytokines but remained elevated for the duration of the experiments. The stimulation of uterine contractility from a pre-infusion level of 200 mmHg. seconds/hour to 6000 mmHg. seconds/hour occurred an average of 6-10 hours after interleukin-1 beta infusion. These stimulations were transient, usually abating by 22 hours after infusion, and did not result in frank labor.


In the rhesus monkey, intra-amniotic infusion of interleukin-1 beta rapidly induces production of intra-amniotic TNF-alpha as well as PGE2 and F2 alpha, followed by uterine contractility. Uterine activity diminishes as cytokine levels return to pre-infusion levels, even in the presence of elevated intraamniotic PG levels. Tumor necrosis factor-alpha may act synergistically with interleukin-1 beta in the pathophysiology of cytokine-related preterm labor.

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