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Marked increase of interleukin-6 in injured human nerves and dorsal root ganglia
  1. G SALDANHA,
  2. K J BÄR,
  3. Y YIANGOU,
  4. P ANAND
  1. Division of Neuroscience and Psychological Medicine, Imperial College of School of Medicine, Area A, Ground Floor, Hammersmith Hospital, Du Cane Road, London W12 0NN, UK
  2. Peripheral Nerve Injury Unit, Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital, Stanmore, Middlesex, UK
  3. St Bartholomews and The Royal London School of Medicine and Dentistry, Queen Mary and Westfield College, Royal London Hospital, London, UK
  1. Professor P Anand
  1. R BIRCH,
  2. T CARLSTEDT
  1. Division of Neuroscience and Psychological Medicine, Imperial College of School of Medicine, Area A, Ground Floor, Hammersmith Hospital, Du Cane Road, London W12 0NN, UK
  2. Peripheral Nerve Injury Unit, Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital, Stanmore, Middlesex, UK
  3. St Bartholomews and The Royal London School of Medicine and Dentistry, Queen Mary and Westfield College, Royal London Hospital, London, UK
  1. Professor P Anand
  1. J M BURRIN
  1. Division of Neuroscience and Psychological Medicine, Imperial College of School of Medicine, Area A, Ground Floor, Hammersmith Hospital, Du Cane Road, London W12 0NN, UK
  2. Peripheral Nerve Injury Unit, Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital, Stanmore, Middlesex, UK
  3. St Bartholomews and The Royal London School of Medicine and Dentistry, Queen Mary and Westfield College, Royal London Hospital, London, UK
  1. Professor P Anand

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Nerve injury, particularly of the brachial plexus, may result in lifelong disability and chronic pain, despite technically excellent reconstructive surgery. Studies of molecular changes in injured nerves may identify new treatments to enhance the success of nerve repair, such as with recombinant human neurotrophic factors. Interleukin-6 (IL-6) is a member of the neuropoietic cytokine family that includes ciliary neurotrophic factor (CNTF), leukaemia inhibitory factor (LIF), and oncostatin M. As there is increasing evidence of a neurotrophic role for IL-6 in animal models of nerve injury and inflammation,1 2 we have studied, for the first time in humans, IL-6 protein in injured and control peripheral nerve and dorsal root ganglia, using specific immunoassay, immunocytochemistry, and western blotting. We report a most remarkable increase of IL-6 concentrations in acutely avulsed dorsal root ganglia and injured nerves.

Proximal and distal injured nerve segments were obtained from six adult patients with traction brachial plexus injury, ranging from 2 weeks to 10 weeks after trauma. Injured dorsal root ganglia were collected from seven adult patients with brachial spinal root avulsion injuries (central axotomy), ranging from 3 days to 15 months after trauma. Tissue removal was a necessary part …

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