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Thalidomide suppressed IL-1beta while enhancing TNF-alpha and IL-10, when cells in whole blood were stimulated with lipopolysaccharide.

Abstract

Thalidomide is used to treat erythema nodosum leprosum (ENL). The events that precipitate this inflammatory reaction, which may occur in multibacillary leprosy patients, and the mechanism by which thalidomide arrest ENL, are not known. Thalidomide's ability to inhibit tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-alpha) in vitro has been proposed as a partial explanation of its effective treatment of ENL. In in vitro assays, thalidomide can enhance or suppress TNF-alpha. This is dependent on the stimulant used to evoke TNF-alpha; the procedure used to isolate the mononuclear cells from blood, and the predominant mononuclear cell type in the culture. To avoid artifacts that may occur during isolation of mononuclear cells from blood, we stimulated normal human blood with LPS and evaluated the effect of thalidomide and dexamethasone on TNF-alpha, and other inflammatory cytokines and biomarkers. Thalidomide suppressed interleukin 1 beta (IL-1beta) (p = 0.007), and it enhanced TNF-alpha (p = 0.007) and interleukin 10 (IL-10) (p = 0.031). Dexamethasone enhanced IL-10 (p = 0.013) and suppressed IL-1beta, TNF-alpha, interleukin 6 (IL-6), and interleukin 8 (IL-8) (p = 0.013). The two drugs did not suppress: C-reactive protein (CRP), Ig-superfamily cell-adhesion molecule 1 (ICAM 1), tumor necrosis factor receptor 1 (TNFR1), tumor necrosis factor receptor 2 (TNFR2), or amyloid A. In vitro and in vivo evidence is accumulating that TNF-alpha is not the primary cytokine targeted by thalidomide in ENL and other inflammatory conditions.

More information

Type
Journal Article
Author
Shannon E
Noveck R
Sandoval F
Kamath B
Year of Publication
2008
Journal
Immunopharmacology and immunotoxicology
Volume
30
Issue
3
Number of Pages
447-57
Date Published
2008
Language
eng
ISSN Number
1532-2513
DOI
10.1080/08923970802135161
Alternate Journal
Immunopharmacol Immunotoxicol
Publication Language
eng