Interleukin-1 immunoreactive innervation of the human hypothalamus

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Science  15 Apr 1988:
Vol. 240, Issue 4850, pp. 321-324
DOI: 10.1126/science.3258444


Interleukin-1 (IL-1) is a cytokine that mediates the acute phase reaction. Many of the actions of IL-1 involve direct effects on the central nervous system. However, IL-1 has not previously been identified as an intrinsic component within the brain, except in glial cells. An antiserum directed against human IL-1 beta was used to stain the human brain immunohistochemically for IL-1 beta-like immunoreactive neural elements. IL-1 beta-immunoreactive fibers were found innervating the key endocrine and autonomic cell groups that control the central components of the acute phase reaction. These results indicate that IL-1 may be an intrinsic neuromodulator in central nervous system pathways that mediate various metabolic functions of the acute phase reaction, including the body temperature changes that produce the febrile response.