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-1β was used to stain the human brain unmunohistochemically for IL-1beta; - like immunoreactive neural elements. IL-1β-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 nenromodulator 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.
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