Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and HIV infection can cause diarrhoea which is accompanied by elevated cytokine levels. To elucidate a pathogenic role of cytokines, their effect on ion secretion was studied in human distal colon using the Ussing technique. Interluekin 1beta (IL-1beta) dose dependently increased short-circuit current (ISC). An ISC maximum of 2.5+/-0.3 micromol. h-1.cm-2 was reached at 20 ng/ml within 43+/-4 min. 22Na+ and 36Cl- fluxes were not altered and residual flux increased by 2.4+/-1.0 micromol.h-1.cm-2 indicating that the IL-1beta-induced ISC is based on electrogenic bicarbonate secretion. IL-1beta had no effect on HT-29/B6 epithlial monolayers suggesting that IL-1beta does not act directly on the epithelium. Furthermore, in human colon the effect was not attenuated by removal of the submucosa (total stripping) pointing to a mediation step via subepithlial cells in the lamina propria. While tetrodotoxin and the 5-lipoxygenase inhibitor ICI-230487 had no effect, indomethacin completely blocked IL-1beta action. Prostaglandin determination by RIA revealed an increased production of PGE2. At half maximum effective concentrations an additive action of tumour necrosis factor alpha (TNF-alpha) could be demonstrated on IL-1beta-induced secretion. Interferon alpha (IFN-alpha), IFN-gamma, IL-6, and IL-8 had no seretory effect in human distal colon. None of the investigated cytokines altered the intestinal barrier function. By their secretory effects IL-1beta and TNF-alpha, but not IFN-alpha, IFN-gamma, IL-6, and IL-8, may contribute to diarrhoea in IBD and AIDS.
Copyright 1998 Academic Press Limited.