Meperidine Attenuates the Secretion But Not the Transcription of Interleukin 1β in Human Mononuclear Leukocytes

Donna O. McCarthy, Susan Murray, Dawn Galagan, James E. Gern, Paul R. Hutson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Background: The infusion of amphotericin-B (AmB) often produces clinically distressing rigors and chills, which promptly abate with intravenous injection of meperidine, although its mechanism of action is unknown. Objective: To examine the effects of meperidine on the transcription or secretion of Interleukin 1β (IL-1β) in human mononuclear leukocytes (MNL) exposed in vitro to the lipopolysaccharide (LPS) contained in Escherichia coli endotoxin or to AmB. Methods: Blood was drawn from eight healthy adult volunteers. The blood was centrifuged, and the layer containing MNL was separated; incubated with various combinations of medium, meperidine, and AmB; then tested for IL-1 content to determine the effect of meperidine on MNL secretion of IL-1β. To determine the effect on MNL transcription of IL-1β, the RNA was extracted from cells and the IL-1β was measured using one of two different methods. Results: Incubation of human MNL in the presence of LPS or AmB significantly increased transcription of IL-1β mRNA and secretion of IL-1β. Addition of meperidine to these cultures significantly reduced LPS-induced, but not AmB-induced, secretion of IL-1β in vitro. Meperidine did not alter IL-1β mRNA levels in MNL exposed to LPS or AmB. Conclusions: These data suggest that meperidine decreases rigors and chills in part by decreasing MNL secretion of IL-1β through a posttranscriptional mechanism.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)19-24
Number of pages6
JournalNursing research
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 1998


  • Amphotericin-B
  • Endotoxin
  • Interleukin-1
  • Meperidine
  • Mononuclear leukocytes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Nursing


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