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Scand J Clin Lab Invest. 2011 Oct;71(6):449-55. doi: 10.3109/00365513.2011.585404.

Acute effects of interleukin-6 infusion on apo-B-containing lipoprotein subclasses in humans.

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Phoenix VA Health Care System, University of Arizona College of Medicine Phoenix Campus, Phoenix, Arizona 85012, USA.


IL-6 is believed to mediate the elevation in plasma TG and VLDL lipids in patients with sepsis. Previous studies of lipoprotein density fractions do not reveal the extent to which cytokines change the immunochemically distinct TG-rich (LpB:C, LpB:C:E, LpAII:B:C:D:E) and cholesterol-rich (LpB, LpB:E) apoB-containing subclasses present in VLDL. Therefore, we have directly measured these subclasses following their isolation by sequential immunoprecipitation in seven healthy male subjects during a 3-h infusion with recombinant human (rh) IL-6. Though plasma TG and apoB-containing particle number were unchanged by IL-6, the distribution of TG-rich subclasses was significantly altered. Compared to baseline values, LpB:E + LpB:C:E increased significantly at 0.5 h (p < 0.02) and were higher than saline-infused controls at 0.5 and 1 h (p < 0.05). At 0.5 h LpAII:B:C:D:E reciprocally declined from baseline (p < 0.01). While the pattern of change for total apoB showed an overall decline (p < 0.05), these changes in LpB:E + LpB:C:E and LpAII:B:C:D:E in IL-6 subjects differed from controls (p < 0.05; p < 0.01, respectively). These findings indicate that physiologic concentrations of IL-6 rapidly and selectively regulate the transport of apoB particles that contain apoE. Since apoE has immunomodulatory and host defense functions, these changes may be a previously unrecognized early step in the innate immune response.

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