Indexed on: 01 Jun '97Published on: 01 Jun '97Published in: Cytokine
To investigate alterations in post-operative levels of IL-6 and soluble IL-6 receptor (sIL-6R), we examined their levels in serum and samples of drainage fluids from 26 patients who underwent thoracoabdominal surgery. Serum IL-6 levels reached the maximum within the first post-operative day and decreased thereafter. The IL-6 levels in the drainage fluid were much higher than in the serum (458 +/- 101-fold; mean +/- SEM) in the early post-operative phase. A large quantity of sIL-6R levels was present in blood samples. The time course of serum sIL-6R levels in 26 patients showed no significant change. sIL-6R concentrations in the drainage fluid were significantly lower than in serum (4.5 +/- 1.1-fold; mean +/- SEM) in the early post-operative phase. We propose that IL-6 is produced in the operative field and enters the peripheral blood stream to induce elevation of serum IL-6. On the other hand, sIL-6R levels in the operative field are lower than in the serum, and the serum sIL-6R levels are not influenced by surgical trauma. These data suggest that sIL-6R is being constantly produced in areas other than the operative field, while sIL-6R level is reduced by consumption in the operative field. Mechanisms to cope with surgical stress, involving sIL-6R together with its ligand IL-6 may thus exist.