Tumor necrosis factor (TNF), interleukin 1 (IL-1) and interleukin 6 (IL-6) are central mediators of the inflammatory response. We investigated the modulation of these cytokines by hormones in vitro. Murine adherent peritoneal exudate cells (PEC) were exposed to various concentrations of hormones followed by lipopolysaccharide (LPS, 10 micrograms/ml). TNF, IL-1 and IL-6 production were assessed by bioassays, enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays (ELISA) or Western blot, and specific RNA transcripts by Northern blot. Hydrocortisone in concentrations as low as 10 ng/ml had dramatic inhibitory effects on supernatant levels of TNF and IL-1 and on TNF, IL-1 and IL-6 transcript number. Supernatant levels of IL-6 were only slightly diminished by hydrocortisone. Adrenocorticotrophic hormone (ACTH) and insulin increased supernatant levels of TNF bioactivity in response to LPS, while each decreased available TNF-alpha gene transcripts. Thus TNF protein production was affected at a post-transcriptional level. ACTH and insulin increased supernatant levels of IL-6 produced in response to LPS without altering available transcripts. Corticotrophin-releasing factor (CRF), epinephrine and glucagon had no effect on supernatant levels of cytokine. Thus, physiological and pharmacological concentrations of hydrocortisone had dramatic inhibitory effects on the supernatant levels of TNF and IL-1, and on the number of available TNF, IL-1 and IL-6 transcripts in PEC exposed to LPS, but had minimal effects on supernatant levels of IL-6 bioactivity. This hydrocortisone action may be a specific negative feedback system for IL-1 and TNF, with relative sparing of IL-6.
View details for Web of Science ID A1992HG57900010
View details for PubMedID 1319763