Interferon-gamma has immunomodulatory effects with minor endocrine and metabolic effects in humans

J. de Metz, F. Sprangers, E. Endert, M. T. Ackermans, I. J. ten Berge, H. P. Sauerwein, J. A. Romijn

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To evaluate whether interferon-gamma (IFN-gamma) is involved in the interaction between the immune and endocrine systems in vivo, we studied six healthy subjects twice in a placebo-controlled trial: once after administration of recombinant human IFN-gamma and, on another occasion, after administration of saline. The rate of appearance of glucose was determined by infusion of [6,6-2H2]glucose and resting energy expenditure by indirect calorimetry. Human leukocyte antigen-DR gene expression on monocytes and serum neopterin increased after administration of IFN-gamma (P <0.05 vs. control). IFN-gamma increased serum interleukin-6 levels significantly. Levels of tumor necrosis factor-alpha remained below detection limits. IFN-gamma increased plasma concentrations of ACTH and cortisol (P <0.05 vs. control), IFN-gamma did not alter concentrations of growth hormone, (nor)epinephrine, insulin, C peptide, glucagon, or insulin-like growth factor I. IFN-gamma did not alter plasma concentrations of glucose and free fatty acids nor the rate of appearance of glucose. IFN-gamma increased resting energy expenditure significantly. We conclude that IFN-gamma is a minor stimulator of the endocrine and metabolic pathways. Therefore, IFN-gamma by itself is probably not a major mediator in the interaction between the immune and the endocrine and metabolic systems
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)517-522
JournalJournal of applied physiology (Bethesda, Md.
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1999

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