Interleukin-1beta, tumor necrosis factor-alpha, and nitrite levels in febrile seizures

J Child Neurol. 2002 Oct;17(10):749-51. doi: 10.1177/08830738020170101501.


Proinflammatory cytokines (such as interleukin-1beta, tumor necrosis factor-alpha) and nitric oxide are known to have both direct and indirect modulating effects on neurons and neurotoxic neurotransmitters released during excitation or inflammation. We measured interleukin-1beta, tumor necrosis factor-alpha, and nitrite levels in the peripheral blood and cerebrospinal fluid of children with febrile seizures and compared our results with those of children with febrile illnesses without seizures. Twenty-nine children with febrile seizure and 15 controls were studied. The mean concentrations of interleukin-1beta and nitrite were significantly increased in the cerebrospinal fluid (P < .01) of the children with febrile seizure. There were no significant changes in serum interleukin-1beta, tumor necrosis factor-alpha, nitrite, and cerebrospinal fluid tumor necrosis factor-alpha levels. Our data support the hypothesis that increased production of interleukin-1beta in the central nervous system or increased diffusion of interleukin-1beta through the blood-brain barrier is involved in the pathogenesis of febrile seizures.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Child, Preschool
  • Female
  • Fever / blood
  • Fever / cerebrospinal fluid
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Interleukin-1 / blood
  • Interleukin-1 / cerebrospinal fluid
  • Interleukin-1 / metabolism*
  • Male
  • Nitrites / blood
  • Nitrites / cerebrospinal fluid
  • Nitrites / metabolism*
  • Seizures, Febrile / blood*
  • Seizures, Febrile / cerebrospinal fluid*
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha / cerebrospinal fluid
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha / metabolism*


  • Interleukin-1
  • Nitrites
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha