Influence of IL-1 receptor blockade on the human response to endotoxemia
Although the experimental administration of IL-1 induces several aspects of the inflammatory response, such as fever, tachycardia, and acute phase proteinemia, the contribution of IL-1 to the human responses to injury or infection remains unclear. A specific IL-1R antagonist (IL-1ra), which effectively blocks the actions of IL-1, was utilized to evaluate the influence of endogenous IL-1 during experimental human endotoxemia. Eighteen healthy volunteers each underwent one control study day, followed 3 days later by one of three randomly chosen treatments: a 6-h infusion of IL-1ra alone (133 mg/h), 20 U/kg national reference endotoxin alone, or both endotoxin and IL-1ra infusion. IL-1ra administration alone was not associated with any observable response. Despite achieving high circulating levels of IL-1ra (34 +/- 3 micrograms/ml), there were no significant differences in hemodynamic parameters, core temperature, or resting energy expenditure in those endotoxemic volunteers receiving IL-1ra when compared with those who did not. Furthermore, leukocyte kinetic and circulating cytokine, acute phase protein, and endocrine responses were similar in both endotoxemic groups. However, IL-1 blockade did significantly reduce the subjective severity of symptoms experienced by the endotoxemic volunteers (p < 0.05). This study demonstrates that an endogenous IL-1 response does not play a significant role in the hemodynamic, immunologic, and metabolic responses to mild endotoxemia in humans.