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