SIDS cases have increased levels of interleukin-6 in cerebrospinal fluid

Acta Paediatr. 1995 Feb;84(2):193-6. doi: 10.1111/j.1651-2227.1995.tb13608.x.


Cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) from 20 infants who died of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), 7 cases of infectious death and 5 cases of violent death were examined with respect to concentrations of interleukin-6 (IL-6). The measurements were performed by ELISA. IL-6 levels in SIDS were significantly lower than in infectious death (p < 0.02), but significantly higher than in violent death (p < 0.02). Since IL-6 plays an important role in immune responses and may induce fever, the findings may suggest that immune activation plays a role in SIDS. The presence of cytokines in the central nervous system (CNS) may cause respiratory depression, especially in vulnerable infants.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Infections / complications
  • Interleukin-6 / cerebrospinal fluid*
  • Interleukin-6 / immunology
  • Male
  • Postmortem Changes
  • Sudden Infant Death / cerebrospinal fluid*
  • Time Factors
  • Violence


  • Interleukin-6