Macrophage migration inhibitory factor exhibits a pronounced circadian rhythm relevant to its role as a glucocorticoid counter-regulator

Nikolai Petrovsky, Luis Socha, Diego Silva, Ashley B. Grossman, Christine Metz, Richard Bucala

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

73 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

In humans, maximal expression of T helper 1 cytokines coincide with the nocturnal nadir of plasma cortisol, whereas T helper 2 cytokine responses are dominant during day-time. The pro-inflammatory cytokine, macrophage migration inhibitory factor counter-regulates glucocorticoid-mediated immune suppression. To determine the relationship between cortisol and macrophage migration inhibitory factor, healthy volunteers had blood drawn hourly for 24 h for measurement of plasma cortisol and basal- and stimulated-macrophage migration inhibitory factor. Similar to cortisol, macrophage migration inhibitory factor peaked during the late morning whereas interferon-γ tumour necrosis factor-α, interleukin-1 and interleukin-12 demonstrated a nocturnal peak. After oral cortisone, plasma macrophage migration inhibitory factor rose 2-4-fold, whereas the other cytokines decreased. There was no correlation between cortisol during the insulin tolerance test and plasma macrophage migration inhibitory factor. The late morning peak of macrophage migration inhibitory factor, by antagonizing cortisol-mediated pro-infiammatory cytokine suppression may prolong the duration of early morning inflammation. These observations explain the beneficial role of macrophage migration inhibitory factor neutralization in models of inflammatory arthritis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)137-143
Number of pages7
JournalImmunology and Cell Biology
Volume81
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2003
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Circadian
  • Cortisol
  • Cytokine
  • Diurnal
  • MIF
  • Neuroendocrine
  • Th1
  • Th2

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