Emerging Evidence of a More Complex Role for Proinflammatory and Antiinflammatory Cytokines in the Sepsis Response

  • Lyle L. Moldawer
  • Rebecca M. Minter
  • John E. RectenwaldIII


Since the original discovery and cloning of tumor necrosis factor-α (TNFα) and interleukin-1 (IL-1), our understanding of the underlying role that these and other cytokines play in the sepsis response has greatly evolved.The original concept that the sepsis response is a result of a linear cytokine cascade induced by TNFα and IL-1 has given way to the appreciation that sepsis syndromes often result from a more complex interplay between proinflammatory cytokines, antiinflammatory cytokines, and cytokine antagonists. The proinflammatory cytokine-dominated, systemic inflammatory response syndrome is likely an episodic or transient occurrence; and many septic patients present with a compensatory antiinflammatory cytokine response dominated by the release of antiinflammatory cytokines and cytokine antagonists, leading to immune suppression. There is also growing appreciation that other members of the TNFα superfamily, including Fas ligand (FasL) and glucocorticoids, play an increasingly important role in the loss of immune cells during sepsis through apoptotic processes. The cytokine component of the innate immune response to sepsis plays a complex role not only in the inflammatory response syndrome but also in determining the nature and magnitude of the acquired immune response.


Systemic Inflammatory Response Syndrome Sepsis Syndrome Tumor Necrosis Factor Family Cytokine Antagonist Endotoxemic Shock 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2000

Authors and Affiliations

  • Lyle L. Moldawer
  • Rebecca M. Minter
  • John E. RectenwaldIII

There are no affiliations available

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