Effect of chronic IL-6 infusion on acute pressor responses to vasoconstrictors in mice

Academic Article


  • Interleukin (IL)-6 has been implicated as a contributing factor in the pathogenesis of hypertension, although the mechanisms involved are unclear. Studies conducted in vitro suggest that IL-6 may have a direct effect on vascular tone and may modulate constrictor responses to agonists. Whether this effect can be observed in vivo is unknown. Therefore, mice were treated with either IL-6 (16 ng/h sc) or vehicle for 14 days, and the acute blood pressure and heart rate responses to endothelin (ET)-1, angiotensin II (ANG II), and phenylephrine (PE) were assessed under isoflurane anesthesia. Blood pressure responses to ET-1 were identical in vehicle- and IL-6-infused mice, both in the presence and the absence of ganglion blockade with chlorisondamine. The fall in heart rate during ET-1 responses was significantly attenuated in IL-6-infused mice with autonomic reflexes intact (vehicle vs. IL-6, P < 0.05 at 1 and 3 nmol/kg of ET-1), but this difference was not observed after ganglionic blockade. Both blood pressure and heart rate responses to ANG II were indistinguishable between IL-6- and vehicle-infused mice, as were responses to PE except for a significant increase in the blood pressure response and decrease in the heart rate response in IL-6-infused mice observed only at the highest dose of PE (300 μg/kg; P < 0.05). These findings show that, despite what might be predicted from studies conducted in vitro, chronic exposure to elevated plasma IL-6 concentrations in itself does not predispose the mouse to enhanced responsiveness to vasoconstrictors in vivo. Copyright © 2007 the American Physiological Society.
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Boesen EI; Pollock DM
  • Volume

  • 293
  • Issue

  • 3