Cytokines are hormonal signals essential for cellular communication in immune responses. Interleukin 1 (IL-1) is a T- and B-lymphocyte-activating cytokine released primarily by antigen-presenting macrophages (Bendtzen 1983; Dinarello 1984). In addition to its lymphocyte-activating properties, IL-1 has a broad spectrum of other activities, including the ability to alter neuroendocrine and metabolic functions (Bendtzen 1983; Dinarello 1984).
Recently, supernatants of activated human blood mononuclear cells (MNC), and native and recombinant IL-1 (rIL-1) have been shown to directly affect the insulin secretion as well as the structure of beta-cells in pancreatic islets of Langerhans (Bendtzen et al. 1986).
The purpose of this study was to investigate the influence of rIL-1, on another endocrine target cell in order to elucidate a possible participation of IL-1 in the pathogenesis of autoimmune thyroid diseases. We found that IL-1 is a potent inhibitor of thyroglobulin (Tg) and cyclic AMP (cAMP) production and/or release from in vitro