To assess the role of interleukin-12 (IL-12) and gamma interferon (IFN-gamma) in children with bacterial meningitis, bioactive IL-12 (p70) and the inactive subunit p40 and IFN-gamma were measured in serum and cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) from 35 children with bacterial meningitis and 10 control subjects. The production of IFN-gamma is induced by IL-12 with tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-alpha) as a costimulator and inhibited by IL-10. CSF concentrations of IL-12 p40 as well as those of IFN-gamma were markedly elevated, whereas IL-12 p70 was hardly detectable. Detectable CSF levels of IFN-gamma correlated positively with IL-12 p40 (r = 0.40, P = 0.02) and TNF-alpha (r = 0.46, P = 0.04) but not with IL-6, IL-8, or IL-10. In contrast to CSF levels of TNF-alpha, IL-12, and IL-10, those of IFN-gamma were significantly higher in patients with pneumococcal meningitis than in children with meningitis caused by Haemophilus influenzae and Neisseria meningitidis, presumably because of a high CSF TNF-alpha/IL-10 ratio in the former. We suggest that IL-12- and TNF-alpha-induced IFN-gamma production may contribute to the natural immunity against microorganisms in the CSF compartment during the acute phase of bacterial meningitis.

Additional Metadata
Keywords Adolescent, Child, Child, Preschool, Humans, Infant, Interferon Type II/*biosynthesis/blood/cerebrospinal fluid, Interleukin-12/*biosynthesis/blood/cerebrospinal fluid, Interleukin-6/cerebrospinal fluid, Interleukin-8/cerebrospinal fluid, Meningitis, Bacterial/*immunology, Subarachnoid Space/*immunology, Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha/cerebrospinal fluid
Persistent URL hdl.handle.net/1765/8651
Journal Infection and Immunity
Citation
Kornelisse, R.F, Hack, C.E, Savelkoul, H.F.J, van der Pouw Kraan, T.C, Hop, W.C.J, van Mierlo, G, … de Groot, R. (1997). Intrathecal production of interleukin-12 and gamma interferon in patients with bacterial meningitis. Infection and Immunity. Retrieved from http://hdl.handle.net/1765/8651