Soman-induced interleukin-1 beta mRNA and protein in rat brain

Neurotoxicology. 2001 Jun;22(3):355-62. doi: 10.1016/s0161-813x(01)00022-5.


Exposure to high doses of the toxic organophosphate compound soman, also known as a chemical warfare agent, causes a progression of toxic symptoms including hyper-secretions, convulsions, respiratory depression, and finally death. In previous studies, we have demonstrated pronounced effects following soman intoxication in dopaminergic, GABAergic, and cholinergic systems in rat brain. The aim of this study was to investigate the effects on the pro-inflammatory cytokine interleukin-1beta (IL-1beta), indicated as mRNA and protein production, at different time intervals following soman intoxication. The peak levels of mRNA was observed 30 min following soman exposure, while a significant increase in the protein was observed at 6 h. Immunohistochemistry analysis revealed the presence of IL-1beta protein in astrocytes and endothelial cells. In addition to the previously observed effects of soman, there is an induction of IL-1beta in the brain. This effect, which is highly correlated to convulsions, implicates IL-1beta as a possible mediator for long-term brain damage observed after soman intoxication.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Brain / drug effects*
  • Brain / metabolism*
  • Chemical Warfare Agents / toxicity*
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Interleukin-1 / biosynthesis*
  • Interleukin-1 / genetics*
  • Male
  • Organ Specificity / drug effects
  • RNA, Messenger / biosynthesis*
  • RNA, Messenger / drug effects
  • Rats
  • Rats, Wistar
  • Soman / toxicity*


  • Chemical Warfare Agents
  • Interleukin-1
  • RNA, Messenger
  • Soman