Relationship of endotoxin to tumor necrosis factor-alpha and interleukin-1 beta in children with otitis media with effusion

Ann Otol Rhinol Laryngol. 1998 Jan;107(1):28-33. doi: 10.1177/000348949810700106.


Sixty-five middle ear effusions and paired sera from 41 children with chronic otitis media with effusion were assayed for endotoxin and for tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-alpha) and interleukin-1 beta (IL-1 beta) in order to establish whether a correlation exists between the concentrations of endotoxin and of these cytokines. Endotoxin concentration was determined by means of a chromogenic limulus amebocyte lysate assay, and the cytokine concentration by means of a quantitative enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. Forty percent of the effusions had detectable levels of endotoxin, with a mean concentration of 2.9 +/- 7.8 endotoxin units per milligram of total protein. The mean concentration of TNF-alpha was 1.24 +/- 3.1 pg/mg total protein, and that of IL-1 beta was 18.79 pg/mg total protein. A strong, statistically significant correlation exists between the concentrations of endotoxin and TNF-alpha (r = .89) and IL-1 beta (r = .72). The data indicate that endotoxin may contribute to the pathogenesis of chronic otitis media with effusion by stimulating the sustained production of TNF-alpha and IL-1 beta in the middle ear.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Endotoxins / blood
  • Endotoxins / metabolism*
  • Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay
  • Exudates and Transudates / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Interleukin-1 / blood
  • Interleukin-1 / metabolism*
  • Limulus Test
  • Otitis Media with Effusion / metabolism*
  • Otitis Media with Effusion / microbiology
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha / metabolism*


  • Endotoxins
  • Interleukin-1
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha