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Sympathetic activation triggers systemic interleukin-10 release in immunodepression induced by brain injury

Abstract

The mechanism of immunodepression after brain injury is not yet clear. Here we demonstrate rapid systemic release of the immunoinhibitory cytokine interleukin-10, monocytic deactivation and a high incidence of infection in patients with ‘sympathetic storm’ due to acute accidental or iatrogenic brain trauma. In vitro studies showed that within minutes catecholamines trigger the secretion of interleukin-10 from unstimulated monocytes through a β-adrenoreceptor-mediated, cAMP/protein kinase A-dependent pathway. We found that in a rat model of acute brain injury, the βreceptor antagonist propranolol prevented the increase of interleukin-10 plasma levels. Rapid monocytic interleukin-10 release after sympathetic activation may represent a common pathway for immunodepression induced by stress and injury.

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Woiciechowsky, C., Asadullah, K., Nestler, D. et al. Sympathetic activation triggers systemic interleukin-10 release in immunodepression induced by brain injury. Nat Med 4, 808–813 (1998). https://doi.org/10.1038/nm0798-808

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