Pancreatic beta-cell function and interleukin-1 beta in plasma during the acute phase response in patients with major burn injuries

Eur J Clin Invest. 1993 May;23(5):311-9. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2362.1993.tb00780.x.


Animal experiments demonstrate that interleukin-1 beta (IL-1 beta) is beta-cell cytotoxic in vitro and inhibits insulin secretion in vivo. However, it is unknown if IL-1 beta affects beta-cell function in man. Since IL-1 beta and other cytokines are main mediators of the acute phase response, the objectives of the present study were to examine beta-cell function in patients with major burn injuries, and to test if changes in beta-cell function correlated to systemic levels of IL-1 beta and tumour necrosis factor alpha (TNF alpha). We established and validated an IL-1 beta assay measuring free and protein bound IL-1 beta; protein bound IL-1 beta was detached from the IL-1 beta specific binding protein by acidification, rendering it accessible for the employed antibody. The IL-1 beta specific binding protein (43-60 kDa) was found in serum and plasma from all tested patients and normal subjects. Survivors of burn injuries had a stimulated beta-cell function, whereas non-survivors had an impaired beta-cell function as indicated by an increased plasma concentration of proinsulin, and an increased proinsulin/insulin ratio. In addition, non-survivors had significantly increased plasma levels of IL-1 beta. However, we could not demonstrate any correlation between C-peptide, proinsulin, insulin or proinsulin/insulin ratio and plasma concentration of IL-1 beta. In conclusion, beta-cell function abnormalities are evident in patients with major burn injuries, and a high plasma level of IL-1 beta correlates with a fatal outcome.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Acute-Phase Reaction / blood
  • Acute-Phase Reaction / physiopathology
  • Adult
  • Burns / blood
  • Burns / physiopathology*
  • C-Peptide / blood
  • Carrier Proteins / blood
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Insulin / blood
  • Insulin / metabolism
  • Insulin Secretion
  • Interleukin-1 / blood*
  • Islets of Langerhans / metabolism*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prognosis
  • Proinsulin / blood
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha / metabolism


  • C-Peptide
  • Carrier Proteins
  • Insulin
  • Interleukin-1
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha
  • Proinsulin