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Centre of Inflammation and Metabolism (CIM)


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257Human models of low-grade inflammation: bolus versus continuous infusion of endotoxin.
Taudorf S; Krabbe KS; Berg RM; Pedersen BK; Moller K
Clin Vaccine Immunol 2007; 14(3): 250-5
PubMed ID: 17267590

Systemic low-grade inflammation is recognized in an increasing number of chronic diseases. With the aim of establishing an experimental human in vivo model of systemic low-grade inflammation, we measured circulating inflammatory mediators after intravenous administration of Escherichia coli endotoxin (0.3 ng/kg of body weight) either as a bolus injection or as a 4-h continuous intravenous infusion, as well as after saline administration, in 10 healthy male subjects on three separate study days. Only bolus endotoxin caused an increase in heart rate, whereas a slight increase in rectal temperature was observed in both endotoxin groups. Tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-alpha), interleukin-6, and neutrophil responses were earlier and more pronounced in the bolus trial compared with the infusion trial results, whereas lymphocytes increased after endotoxin bolus injection as well as infusion without any difference between groups. Finally, endotoxin activated the hypothalamo-pituitary-adrenal axis slightly earlier in the bolus compared to the infusion trial. The continuous endotoxin infusion model may be more representative of human low-grade inflammation than the bolus injection model due to a less dynamic and more sustained increase in circulating levels of inflammatory mediators over time. In conclusion, low-dose endotoxin infusion elicits an inflammatory response, as assessed by a rise in TNF-alpha, and the responses are significantly different according to whether low-dose endotoxin is applied as a bolus injection or as a continuous infusion.

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