Plasma profiles of IL-6-like and TNF-like activities in brain-dead dogs

T. S. Huber, M. J. Kluger, S. P. Harris, L. G. D'Alecy

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16 Scopus citations


The progression to somatic death after brain death is poorly understood. The role of tumor necrosis factor (TNF) and interleukin-6 (IL-6) in this progression is unknown. TNF-like and IL-6-like plasma activities were assayed in a canine model of brain death in the presence and absence of a lipopolysaccharide (LPS) challenge (0.22 μg/kg). Bioassays for TNF-like and IL-6-like activities used WEHI and B9 cell lines, respectively. Brain death was induced by elevating and maintaining intracranial pressure above systolic arterial pressure. Anesthesia and the operative procedure did not cause a significant increase of either cytokine. Brain death (n = 8) itself did not cause a significant elevation of either cytokine compared with the sham brain-death control (n = 6) despite a significant decrease in mean arterial pressure (35 ± 3 vs. 115 ± 5 mmHg at 5 h). The brain-dead group treated with LPS (n = 6) responded with a significant elevation in IL-6-like and TNF-like activities compared with the vehicle-treated group. The rise of IL-6-like activity in response to LPS was greater in the brain-dead group than in the sham brain-dead group (n = 3); no significant difference was noted for the TNF-like response. We conclude that the progression to somatic death after brain death cannot be explained by increases in circulating TNF-like or IL-6-like activities. The presence of the central nervous system is not essential for the elevation of the two cytokines in response to LPS, and, indeed, the central nervous system may exert an inhibitory effect on the IL-6-like activity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)R1133-R1140
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Regulatory Integrative and Comparative Physiology
Issue number5 30-5
StatePublished - 1991


  • Anesthesia
  • Central nervous system
  • Surgery
  • Tissue donor
  • Transplantation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Physiology (medical)


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