European Journal of Immunology vol:22 issue:9 pages:2395-401
Two rat monoclonal antibodies (6B4 and 20F3) against mouse interleukin (IL)-6 were studied for their effects on the generalized Shwartzman reaction and on cytokine production elicited by endotoxin injections. Both antibodies were found to protect mice against the generalized Shwartzman reaction. Production of interferon and tumor necrosis factor in these animals, as assessed from serum levels, were not consistently affected by the antibody treatment, although rather increased levels were occasionally noted. Paradoxically, however, endotoxin-induced serum levels of IL-6 in anti-IL-6-treated mice were consistently found to be markedly increased and also to persist for longer time periods. The more vigorous and persistent response may have been due to slower elimination, increased synthesis, or a combination of both. Endogenous production of IL-6 in mice may be sufficiently large to supersede the neutralizing potential of an excess of antibody, as was evident from the fact that ascites fluid of the anti-IL-6-producing 6B4 hybridoma was biologically active in the IL-6 assay.