The effect of heat on cytokine production in rat endotoxemia

Sabrina M. Heidemann, Lesley Lomo, John P. Ofenstein, Ashok P. Sarnaik

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


Objective: To determine whether heat stress protects the endotoxemic rat by up-regulation of the counterinflammatory cytokine interleukin (IL)-10, thereby attenuating the inflammatory response. Design: A total of 16 rats were assigned to either the heat stress group (n = 8) or the control group (n = 8). The heat stress group was warmed to a temperature of > 42°C (107.6°F) rectally for 10-15 mins; 20 hrs later, all rats were intubated, paralyzed, and ventilated. After jugular venous and arterial catheterization, endotoxin was given intravenously. Arterial blood was removed at 0, 2, 4, and 5 hrs for blood gases, tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α, nitric oxide metabolites (NO), IL-10, and macrophage inflammatory protein (MIP)-2. The alveolar macrophages were removed, counted, and then incubated for 24 hrs. The supernatant was analyzed for TNF-α, NO, IL-10, and MIP-2. Setting: University research laboratory. Subjects: Male Sprague-Dawley rats (n = 16). Interventions: Administration of heat before endotoxin infusion. Measurements and Main Results: Alveolar-arterial oxygen gradient was lower in the heat stress group at 4 and 5 hrs after endotoxemia. Plasma and alveolar macrophage supernatant concentrations of TNF-α, NO, and IL-10 were not affected by heat. Plasma and alveolar macrophage supernatant MIP-2 concentrations were higher in endotoxemic rats receiving heat pretreatment compared with controls. Conclusions: Our study demonstrates that heat leads to pulmonary protection of short duration in severe endotoxemia. This protection was not mediated by plasma TNF-α, IL-10, or NO. Contrary to our hypothesis, pretreatment with heat increased rather than decreased the plasma MIP-2 concentration and alveolar macrophage production of MIP-2 in endotoxemia. The mechanism of heat-conferred pulmonary protection in endotoxemia remains unclear. Alveolar macrophages do not produce IL-10 in endotoxemia. The increased MIP-2 production by heated alveolar macrophages was not attributable to alterations in production of either TNF-α or IL-10. The significance of increased MIP-2 by endotoxin-exposed alveolar macrophages in heated rats is unknown.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1465-1468
Number of pages4
JournalCritical Care Medicine
Issue number5
StatePublished - 2000


  • Acute respiratory distress syndrome
  • Endotoxemia
  • Heat shock protein- 70
  • Infection
  • Interleukin-10
  • Lipopolysaccharide
  • Macrophage inflammatory protein- 2
  • Nitric oxide
  • Rat
  • Tumor necrosis factor


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