Neuroendocrine regulation of in vivo cytokine production and effects: I. In vivo regulatory networks involving the neuroendocrine system, interleukin-1 and tumor necrosis factor-alpha

J Neuroimmunol. 1989 Sep;24(1-2):143-53. doi: 10.1016/0165-5728(89)90108-2.


We have investigated the in vivo regulatory network involving the neuroendocrine system, interleukin-1 (IL-1) and tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF). Adrenalectomy or hypophysectomy shifted the sensitivity curve to lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-induced lethal shock as well as TNF- and IL-1-induced deaths. Serum levels of IL-1 or TNF were altered in adrenalectomized or hypophysectomized mice following in vivo stimulation with LPS when compared to appropriate sham-operated control mice. Exogenous administration of either IL-1 or TNF could induce increases in serum corticosterone in sham-operated mice. Finally, treatment of adrenalectomized mice with corticosterone or dexamethasone could inhibit the induction of serum IL-1 and TNF and modified the pattern of these cytokine-induced deaths. Dexamethasone was more effective in these conditions than the natural glucocorticoid, corticosterone. Taken together, these data provide in vivo evidence for a feedback system involving the neuroendocrine axis (hypothalamus, pituitary and adrenal glands) leading to corticosterone production and subsequent regulation and/or modulation of IL-1 or TNF levels or activity.

MeSH terms

  • Adrenalectomy
  • Animals
  • Biological Factors / biosynthesis*
  • Biological Factors / blood
  • Corticosterone / blood
  • Corticosterone / pharmacology
  • Cytokines
  • Dexamethasone / pharmacology
  • Hypophysectomy
  • Interleukin-1 / administration & dosage
  • Interleukin-1 / blood*
  • Mice
  • Neurosecretory Systems / metabolism*
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha / administration & dosage
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha / analysis*


  • Biological Factors
  • Cytokines
  • Interleukin-1
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha
  • Dexamethasone
  • Corticosterone