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J Neurol Sci. 1997 Nov 25;152(2):119-24.

Gene expression of IL-10 in relationship to TNF-alpha, IL-1beta and IL-2 in the rat brain following middle cerebral artery occlusion.

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Division of Neurology, Medical College of Ohio, Toledo 43614-0008, USA.


To systematically elucidate the gene expression of inflammatory and immune modulators following middle cerebral artery occlusion (MCAO) in the rat, we studied interleukin-10 (IL-10) along with tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-alpha), interleukin-1 beta (IL-1beta) and interleukin-2 (IL-2). Gene expression of these cytokines was studied ipsilateral and contralateral to the MCAO, with mRNA expression levels evaluated 2, 4, 6, 8 and 12 h following permanent MCAO by reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR). In the ischemic hemisphere TNF-alpha and IL-1beta mRNA increased at 2 h following MCAO and peaked at 6 h, with IL-10 mRNA detected only at 6 h. Contralaterally, both TNF-alpha and IL-1beta mRNAs were expressed with a similar pattern to that in the ischemic hemisphere, but at lower levels, with no contralateral IL-10 expression. There was no difference in IL-2 gene expression between control and experimental animals in either hemisphere. These results demonstrate that IL-10 and TNF-alpha, IL-1beta gene expression is induced early following MCAO. The temporal profile of these cytokines is similar to that seen in sepsis, where TNF-alpha induces IL-10; subsequently IL-10 inhibits TNF-alpha expression. The similarity of the temporal profile of cytokine expression in sepsis and cerebral ischemia suggests that IL-10 should be studied as a potential inhibitor of TNF-alpha production in ischemic brain tissue. The factors inducing contralateral expression of the inflammatory cytokines, TNF-alpha and IL-1beta, along with the potential clinical significance of this remote cytokine gene expression, merit further study.

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