IL-1β induces an exaggerated pro- and anti-inflammatory response in peritoneal macrophages of children compared with adults

Katherine A. Barsness*, Denis D. Bensard, David A. Partrick, Casey M. Calkins, Richard J. Hendrickson, Anirban Banerjee, Robert C. McIntyre

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Children have a lower incidence of acute lung injury (ALI) compared with adults. Because ALI appears to be the end result of systemic hyperinflammation, children may either have 1) an attenuated pro-inflammatory response or 2) an augmented anti-inflammatory response compared with adults. The purpose of this study was to determine the IL-1-induced pro- and anti-inflammatory response of pediatric vs. adult peritoneal macrophages (PMs). We hypothesized that pediatric PMs would have an enhanced anti-inflammatory response compared with adult PMs. Human PMs were collected during elective laparoscopic procedures, cultured, and stimulated with IL-1β. IL-6, IL-8, IL-10, and TNFα production were determined by ELISA. Statistical analyses were by ANOVA; a P < 0.05 was significant. Our results showed that IL-1β induced an 11-fold increase in IL-10 production in pediatric PMs (659 ± 103 vs. 60 ± 25 control, P < 0.05). There was no IL-10 production in IL-1β-stimulated adult PMs. IL-1β-induced TNF production was greater in children compared with adults (2152 ± 166 vs. 592 ± 188, P < 0.05). Similarly, IL-1β-induced IL-6 production was greater in pediatric PMs compared with adults (532±3 vs. 444±52, P < 0.05). There was no difference in IL-1β-induced IL-8 production in children compared with adults. The IL-10: TNFα ratio after IL-1β stimulation was 0.306 ± 0.056 in pediatric macrophages and 0.020 ± 0.015 in adult macrophages (P < 0.01). In conclusion, IL-1β-induced IL-6 and TNFα production were greater in pediatric than adult PMs. Furthermore, pediatric PMs had an 11-fold increase in IL-1β-induced IL-10 production, while adult PMs did not produce IL-10. Therefore, IL-1β induces both a pro- and an anti-inflammatory response in pediatric PMs, whereas adult PMs produce only pro-inflammatory cytokines in response to IL-1β. The exaggerated anti-inflammatory IL-10 response in children may be an important factor in the observed differences in ALI between children and adults.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)238-242
Number of pages5
JournalPediatric Surgery International
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2004


  • Acute lung injury
  • Children
  • IL-1β
  • Inflammatory response
  • Peritoneal macrophages

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Surgery


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