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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Meperidine attenuates the secretion but not the transcription of interleukin 1 beta in human mononuclear leukocytes.

BACKGROUND: The infusion of amphotericin-B (AmB) often produces clinically distressing rigors and chills, which promptly abate with intravenous injection of meperidine, although its mechanism of action is unknown. OBJECTIVE: To examine the effects of meperidine on the transcription or secretion of Interleukin 1 beta (IL-1 beta) in human mononuclear leukocytes (MNL) exposed in vitro to the lipopolysaccharide (LPS) contained in Escherichia coli endotoxin or to AmB. METHODS: Blood was drawn from eight healthy adult volunteers. The blood was centrifuged, and the layer containing MNL was separated; incubated with various combinations of medium, meperidine, and AmB; then tested for IL-1 content to determine the effect of meperidine on MNL secretion of IL-1 beta. To determine the effect on MNL transcription of IL-1 beta, the RNA was extracted from cells and the IL-1 beta was measured using one of two different methods. RESULTS: Incubation of human MNL in the presence of LPS or AmB significantly increased transcription of IL-1 beta mRNA and secretion of IL-1 beta. Addition of meperidine to these cultures significantly reduced LPS-induced, but not AmB-induced, secretion of IL-1 beta in vitro. Meperidine did not alter IL-1 beta mRNA levels in MNL exposed to LPS or AmB. CONCLUSIONS: These data suggest that meperidine decreases rigors and chills in part by decreasing MNL secretion of IL-1 beta through a posttranscriptional mechanism.[1]


  1. Meperidine attenuates the secretion but not the transcription of interleukin 1 beta in human mononuclear leukocytes. McCarthy, D.O., Murray, S., Galagan, D., Gern, J.E., Hutson, P.R. Nursing research. (1998) [Pubmed]
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