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November 1994

Effects of Antimurine Interleukin-6 on Bacterial Translocation During Gut-Derived Sepsis

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Surgery, Transplantation Division, University of Cincinnati, Ohio (Drs Gennari, Alexander, and Ogle and Ms Pyles) and The Shriners Burns Institute (Drs Gennari, Alexander, and Ogle and Mss Pyles and Hartmann), Cincinnati.

Arch Surg. 1994;129(11):1191-1197. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1994.01420350089012

Background:  Recent studies have shown that interleukin-6 (IL-6) is involved in the systemic changes that are associated with infection and tissue injury and that there is a correlation between high levels of IL-6 and poor outcome during several pathologic conditions.

Objective:  The effects of antimurine IL-6 antibody on survival and host defense were studied in a clinically relevant model of infection.

Methods:  Balb/c mice were treated with 10 μ of antimurine interleukin-6, a nonspecific mouse IgG, or placebo 1 hour before they underwent bacterial challenge by gavage of 1010Escherichia coli and burn injury. Survival and the extent of translocation of E coli were determined as well as the correlation between the IL-6 levels and survival times.

Results:  Survival after burn and gavage was 90% in animals treated with antimurine interleukin-6 vs 50% in animals treated with nonspecific IgG and 30% in salinetreated controls. A significant correlation between the levels of IL-6 and survival time was observed. Less translocation and better killing of bacteria were observed in the tissues of animals treated with antimurine interleukin-6.

Conclusions:  Interleukin-6 appears to play a major role in both the intensity of translocation of E coli from the intestine following burn injury and the host's ability to kill translocated organisms. Improved outcome was associated with a reduction of IL-6 levels by anti—IL-6 antibody.(Arch Surg. 1994;129:1191-1197)

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