Repetitive in vivo treatment with human recombinant interleukin-1 beta modifies beta-cell function in normal rats

Diabetologia. 1992 Apr;35(4):331-9. doi: 10.1007/BF00401200.


It is unknown whether interleukin-1 exerts a bimodal effect on Beta-cell function in vivo, and whether interleukin-1 has a diabetogenic action in normal animals. We therefore studied: (a) acute effects 2 h after an intraperitoneal bolus injection of 4 micrograms of recombinant human interleukin-1 beta per kg body weight on blood glucose, plasma levels of insulin, glucagon and corticosterone in Wistar Kyoto rats, either untreated or pre-treated with 4 micrograms/kg of interleukin-1 daily for 3 or 5 days; (b) the cumulative effects of repetitive intraperitoneal injections of 4 micrograms/kg interleukin-1 on blood glucose, glucose tolerance, plasma levels of insulin, glucagon and corticosterone, pancreatic insulin content and pancreatic ultrastructure; and (c) blood glucose and plasma concentrations of insulin, glucagon and corticosterone 10 h after the last of five intraperitoneal injections of interleukin-1, at which time point the inhibitory effect of short-term interleukin-1 exposure on insulin secretion reaches its nadir in vitro. A single injection of 4 micrograms/kg of interleukin-1 caused a slight, but significant lowering of blood glucose 2 h after interleukin-1 injection with no significant changes in plasma insulin and in spite of increases in plasma glucagon and corticosterone. A lowering of blood glucose 2 h after interleukin-1 administration was reproduced with 40, but not 0.4 micrograms/kg of interleukin-1, and was also seen in interleukin-1 pre-treated rats. Two hours after the fifth injection of interleukin-1, intraperitoneal glucose tolerance was impaired with elevated plasma insulin and corticosterone levels and increased pancreatic insulin content, indicating a state of insulin resistance.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Blood Glucose / metabolism
  • Body Weight / drug effects
  • Corticosterone / blood
  • Glucagon / blood
  • Glucagon / metabolism
  • Insulin / blood
  • Insulin / metabolism
  • Insulin Secretion
  • Interleukin-1 / pharmacology*
  • Islets of Langerhans / drug effects
  • Islets of Langerhans / physiology*
  • Islets of Langerhans / ultrastructure
  • Male
  • Microscopy, Electron
  • Organ Size / drug effects
  • Rats
  • Rats, Inbred WKY
  • Recombinant Proteins / pharmacology*
  • Reference Values


  • Blood Glucose
  • Insulin
  • Interleukin-1
  • Recombinant Proteins
  • Glucagon
  • Corticosterone