Proinflammatory cytokines in serum of patients with acute cerebral ischemia: kinetics of secretion and relation to the extent of brain damage and outcome of disease

J Neurol Sci. 1994 Apr;122(2):135-9. doi: 10.1016/0022-510x(94)90289-5.


The release of the proinflammatory cytokines IL-1 beta, IL-6, TNF-alpha and soluble TNF-receptors p55 and p75 in peripheral blood was serially determined in 19 patients with acute cerebral ischemia. Only patients admitted within 4 h following onset of symptoms were studied. In contrast to serum levels of IL-1 beta, TNF-alpha and TNF-receptors, which did not exhibit a significant response, IL-6 showed a significant increase of serum levels already within the first hours following onset of disease and reached a plateau at 10 h until day 3 and returned to baseline by day 7. The increase of levels of this cytokine was significantly (P < 0.05) correlated with increasing volumes of brain lesion and was also significantly (P < 0.005) associated with poor functional and neurological outcome. The increase of levels of IL-6 despite a considerable dilution in peripheral blood shown in this preliminary study suggests an early inflammatory response in ischemic brain lesion.

MeSH terms

  • Activities of Daily Living
  • Acute Disease
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Brain Damage, Chronic / etiology*
  • Brain Damage, Chronic / pathology
  • Brain Ischemia / blood*
  • Brain Ischemia / complications
  • Brain Ischemia / pathology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Interleukin-1 / blood*
  • Interleukin-1 / metabolism
  • Interleukin-6 / blood*
  • Interleukin-6 / metabolism
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Receptors, Tumor Necrosis Factor / analysis*
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Time Factors
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha / analysis*
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha / metabolism


  • Interleukin-1
  • Interleukin-6
  • Receptors, Tumor Necrosis Factor
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha