Type 1 diabetes (T1DM) is an autoimmune disease characterized by systemic inflammation. T1DM patients are at a higher risk of cardiovascular disease and chronic inflammation, and this is reflected by increased levels of circulating pro-inflammatory cytokines IL-6, IL-1β, and TNF-α. However, the time point at which these pro-inflammatory cytokines become elevated is not known. PURPOSE: The purpose of this study was to determine the concentration of circulating pro-inflammatory cytokines IL-6, IL-1β, and TNF-α in the early stage of T1DM. METHODS: We injected (i.p) 50mg/kg of Streptozotocin (STZ) or the vehicle (CTL) into male and female Sprague Dawley rats and waited one to three weeks before drawing blood. Blood was drawn from the carotid artery into a serum separator vacutainer, centrifuged, and then the serum was aliquoted into tubes and frozen at -80°C for subsequent batch analyses. A rat cytokine multiplex kit (RADPKMAG, EMD Millipore) was used to determine cytokine concentrations in the aliquoted samples. Samples were analyzed using a Luminex 200 instrument (Luminex Corp) according to manufacturer’s instructions. RESULTS: STZ rats had significantly higher blood glucose (CTL=200±15 mg/dl, n=14; STZ=523±14 mg/dl; n=14; p0.05) and TNF-α (STZ: 15.6±12 pg/ml, n=14; CTL: 14.3±9 pg/ml, n=13, p>0.05) were not significantly different between STZ and CTL. CONCLUSION: We conclude that serum IL-6 concentrations are trending toward being greater in the early stage of T1DM. However, serum levels of IL-1β and TNF-α do not appear to be elevated at this stage of the disease. Further studies are needed to determine if concentrations of pro-inflammatory cytokines fluctuate during the progression of the disease.



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