The reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) was used to assess the induction of mRNA of the proinflammatory cytokines IL-1β, IL-6 and TNFα in the spleen, pituitary, hypothalamus and hippocampus of mice after an intraperitoneal injection of lipopolysaccharide (LPS, 10 μg/mouse). The kinetics of cytokine gene expression induced by peripheral LPS in the pituitary and brain structures were different from that observed in the spleen. For IL-1β the dose-response curve was also measured and also found to be different. These results support the idea that one pathway by which peripheral immune stimuli affect brain functions includes local synthesis of proinflammatory cytokines in certain brain structures. © 1994.
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