Role of interleukin-6 in a non-septic shock model induced by zymosan

Salvatore Cuzzocrea, Giovambattista De Sarro, Giuseppina Costantino, Emanuela Mazzon, Rosaria Laurà, Emilia Ciriaco, Angela De Sarro, Achille P. Caputi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In the present study, we used IL-6 knock-out mice (IL-6KO) to evaluate a possible role of IL-6 in the pathogenesis of non-septic shock induced by peritoneal injection of zymosan. A severe inflammatory response characterized by peritoneal exudation, high peritoneal levels of nitrate/nitrite, and leukocyte infiltration into peritoneal exudate was induced by zymosan administration in wild-type control (WT) mice. This inflammatory process coincided with the damage to the lung and small intestine, as assessed by histological examination. Lung, small intestine and liver myeloperoxidase (MPO) activity, indicative of neutrophil infiltration and lipid peroxidation, were significantly increased in zymosan-treated WT mice. Peritoneal administration of zymosan in the WT mice also induced a significant increase in the plasma levels of nitrite/nitrate and in the levels of peroxynitrite, 18 hours after zymosan challenge. Immunohistochemical examination demonstrated a marked increase in the immunoreactivity to nitrotyrosine in the lung of zymosan-treated WT mice. Zymosan-treated IL-6KO showed significantly decreased mortality and inhibition of the development of peritonitis. In addition, IL-6KO mice showed significant protection from the development of organ failure, since tissue injury and MPO was reduced in the lung, small intestine and liver. Furthermore, a significant reduction of suppression of mitochondrial respiration, DNA strand breakage and reduction of cellular levels of NAD+ was observed in ex vivo macrophages harvested from the peritoneal cavity of IL-6KO mice subjected to zymosan-induced non-septic shock. In vivo treatment with anti-IL-6 (5,000 ng/day per mouse, 24 and 1 hour before zymosan administration) significantly reduced the inflammatory process. Taken together, the present study clearly demonstrates that IL-6 exerts a role in zymosan-induced non-septic shock.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)191-203
Number of pages13
JournalEuropean Cytokine Network
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1999


  • Free radicals
  • Knock out IL-6
  • Nitric oxide
  • Shock
  • Zymosan

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology
  • Cell Biology


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