Type 1 interferon as an antiinflammatory agent: inhibition of lipopolysaccharide-induced interleukin-1 beta and induction of interleukin-1 receptor antagonist

J Interferon Cytokine Res. 1995 Apr;15(4):317-21. doi: 10.1089/jir.1995.15.317.


The effect of two type 1 interferons (r-metIFN-con1 and IFN-alpha 2b) on the induction of specific cytokines and IL-1Ra in whole blood was examined. IFN-gamma was induced at low levels following treatment of diluted whole blood in some but not all subjects. IL-1Ra was induced by both r-metIFN-con1 and IFN-alpha 2b, but with 10- to 100-fold higher induction per ng IFN with r-metIFN-con1 than with IFN-alpha 2b. There was no detectable induction of TNF-alpha, IL-4, or IL-6 by either IFN. The effect of both IFN preparations was measured on LPS-induced inflammatory cytokines. Both IFN preparations inhibited the production of IL-1 beta when added to the diluted blood samples before LPS addition. However, neither IFN had any effect on IL-1 beta synthesis when added at the same time or after LPS induction. When added to total blood cells in the absence of LPS at low concentration (up to 100 pg/ml), IFN slightly stimulated IL-1 beta production, but at 1000 pg/ml or greater there was significant inhibition of IL-1 beta production. These results suggest that type I IFNs play a role in regulating the inflammatory response.

MeSH terms

  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents / pharmacology*
  • Cytokines / biosynthesis
  • Heparin / pharmacology
  • Humans
  • Interferon Inducers / pharmacology
  • Interferon Type I / pharmacology*
  • Interferon alpha-2
  • Interferon-alpha / pharmacology*
  • Interferon-gamma / biosynthesis
  • Interleukin 1 Receptor Antagonist Protein
  • Interleukin-1 / biosynthesis*
  • Interleukin-6 / biosynthesis
  • Lipopolysaccharides / antagonists & inhibitors*
  • Receptors, Interleukin-1 / antagonists & inhibitors*
  • Recombinant Proteins / biosynthesis
  • Sialoglycoproteins / biosynthesis*


  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents
  • Cytokines
  • IL1RN protein, human
  • Interferon Inducers
  • Interferon Type I
  • Interferon alpha-2
  • Interferon-alpha
  • Interleukin 1 Receptor Antagonist Protein
  • Interleukin-1
  • Interleukin-6
  • Lipopolysaccharides
  • Receptors, Interleukin-1
  • Recombinant Proteins
  • Sialoglycoproteins
  • Interferon-gamma
  • Heparin