Time course of interleukin-6 and tumor necrosis factor-alpha increase in serum following inhalation of swine dust

Am J Respir Crit Care Med. 1996 Jan;153(1):147-52. doi: 10.1164/ajrccm.153.1.8542108.


Inhalation of swine dust induces airway inflammation and general symptoms, such as fever and malaise. In the present investigation, the presence and time course of changes in tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-alpha) and interleukin-6 (IL-6) in serum were studied to evaluate possible mechanisms by which inhalation of swine dust induces general symptoms. A group of 14 previously nonexposed subjects weighed swine for 3 h. The average +/- SD inhalable dust concentration was 22.4 +/- 4.7 mg/m3 and endotoxin, 1.2 +/- 0.4 microgram/m3. TNF-alpha in serum increased from 2.5 (1.8 to 3.1) ng/L (median, interquartile range) before exposure to maximum values 10.0 (4.6 to 15.7) ng/L between 3 and 5 h after the start of exposure. IL-6 increased from less than 1.5 to 21.4 (18.6 to 33.6) ng/L 4 to 11 h after the start of exposure. Maximum IL-6 occurred 1 to 5 h after the maximum TNF-alpha. In many subjects, however, an early rise in IL-6 parallel to the change in TNF-alpha was seen. The results that some of the peripheral reactions to swine dust might be mediated by TNF-alpha and IL-6. The early rise in IL-6 implies multiple origins of the IL-6.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Animals
  • Bronchi / immunology
  • Bronchi / physiology
  • Bronchial Provocation Tests
  • Bronchoconstrictor Agents / therapeutic use
  • Data Interpretation, Statistical
  • Dust / adverse effects*
  • Female
  • Forced Expiratory Volume
  • Humans
  • Interleukin-6 / blood*
  • Interleukin-6 / immunology
  • Lymphocyte Count
  • Male
  • Methacholine Chloride
  • Middle Aged
  • Respiratory Function Tests
  • Swine
  • Time Factors
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha / analysis*
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha / immunology


  • Bronchoconstrictor Agents
  • Dust
  • Interleukin-6
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha
  • Methacholine Chloride