Serum and cerebrospinal fluid levels of cytokines in acute encephalopathy associated with human herpesvirus-6 infection

Brain Dev. 2009 Nov;31(10):731-8. doi: 10.1016/j.braindev.2008.11.005. Epub 2008 Dec 27.

Abstract

Human herpesvirus-6 (HHV-6) is a causative agent of exanthema subitum. The immunological pathogenesis of acute encephalopathy associated with HHV-6 infection is still unclear. We measured the concentrations of interferon-gamma (IFN-gamma), tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-alpha), interleukin-2 (IL-2), IL-4, IL-6, IL-10, and soluble TNF receptor 1 (sTNFR1) in serum and cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) during the acute stage in 15 infants with acute encephalopathy and 12 with febrile seizures associated with HHV-6 infection. The serum IL-6, IL-10, sTNFR1, CSF IL-6, and sTNFR1 levels of infants with encephalopathy who had neurological sequelae (n=9) were significantly higher than those with febrile seizures (p=0.011, 0.043, 0.002, 0.029, and 0.005, respectively). In acute encephalopathy, serum IL-6, sTNFR1, and CSF IL-6 levels in infants with neurological sequelae were significantly higher than those without (n=6) neurological sequelae (p=0.043, 0.026, and 0.029, respectively), and serum IFN-gamma, IL-6, IL-10, and sTNFR1 levels were significantly higher than those in the CSF (p=0.037, 0.037, 0.001, and 0.021, respectively). There were no significant differences in serum or CSF cytokine levels between infants who were positive for HHV-6 DNA in the CSF (n=6) compared to those who were negative (n=9). We suggest that cytokines mediate the pathogenesis of acute encephalopathy associated with HHV-6 infection, and that the elevated levels of serum IL-6, sTNFR1, and CSF IL-6 are important for predicting neurological sequelae.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Acute Disease
  • Cytokines / blood*
  • Cytokines / cerebrospinal fluid*
  • Cytokines / immunology
  • Encephalitis / blood*
  • Encephalitis / cerebrospinal fluid*
  • Encephalitis / etiology
  • Encephalitis / immunology
  • Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay
  • Exanthema Subitum / complications
  • Exanthema Subitum / immunology
  • Female
  • Herpesvirus 6, Human / immunology*
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Intellectual Disability / etiology
  • Male
  • Quadriplegia / etiology
  • Receptors, Tumor Necrosis Factor, Type I / blood*
  • Receptors, Tumor Necrosis Factor, Type I / cerebrospinal fluid*
  • Receptors, Tumor Necrosis Factor, Type I / immunology
  • Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Seizures, Febrile / cerebrospinal fluid
  • Seizures, Febrile / etiology
  • Seizures, Febrile / immunology

Substances

  • Cytokines
  • Receptors, Tumor Necrosis Factor, Type I