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J Cereb Blood Flow Metab. 1998 Feb;18(2):176-9.

Cerebral interleukin-6 is neuroprotective during permanent focal cerebral ischemia in the rat.

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School of Biological Sciences, University of Manchester, United Kingdom.


Interleukin-6 (IL-6) is a neurotrophic cytokine expressed in both neurons and glia. The present study shows that cerebral ischemia produced by permanent occlusion of the middle cerebral artery (MCAO) produces a dramatic increase in IL-6 bioactivity in the ischemic hemisphere within 2 hours of MCAO (167 +/- 55 IU versus sham: 50 +/- 35 IU), with further increases at 8 hours (3,456 +/- 1,162 IU) and 24 hours (6,088 +/- 1,772 IU). In a separate series of experiments, intracerebroventricular injection of recombinant IL-6 (3,100 or 31,000 IU) significantly reduced ischemic brain damage after MCAO (to 52% and 65% of controls, respectively). The large increase in endogenous IL-6 bioactivity in response to ischemia, together with the marked neuroprotection produced by exogenous IL-6 suggest that this cytokine is an important endogenous inhibitor of neuronal death during cerebral ischemia.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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