Recombinant interleukin-1β dilates steelhead trout coronary microvessels: effect of temperature and role of the endothelium, nitric oxide and prostaglandins

Isabel A S F Costa, Travis W Hein, Christopher J Secombes, A Kurt Gamperl

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Interleukin (IL)-1β is associated with hypotension and cardiovascular collapse in mammals during heat stroke, and the mRNA expression of this pro-inflammatory cytokine increases dramatically in the blood of Atlantic cod (Gadus morhua) at high temperatures. These data suggest that release of IL-1β at high temperatures negatively impacts fish cardiovascular function and could be a primary determinant of upper thermal tolerance in this taxa. Thus, we measured the concentration-dependent response of isolated steelhead trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) coronary microvessels (<150 μm in diameter) to recombinant (r) IL-1β at two temperatures (10 and 20°C). Recombinant IL-1β induced a concentration-dependent vasodilation with vessel diameter increasing by approximately 8 and 30% at 10(-8) and 10(-7) mol l(-1), respectively. However, this effect was not temperature dependent. Both vessel denudation and cyclooxygenase blockade (by indomethacin), but not the nitric oxide (NO) antagonist L-NIO, inhibited the vasodilator effect of rIL-1β. In contrast, the concentration-dependent dilation caused by the endothelium-dependent calcium ionophore A23187 was completely abolished by L-NIO and indomethacin, suggesting that both NO and prostaglandin signaling mechanisms exist in the trout coronary microvasculature. These data: (1) are the first to demonstrate a functional link between the immune and cardiovascular systems in fishes; (2) suggest that IL-1β release at high temperatures may reduce systemic vascular resistance, and thus, the capacity of fish to maintain blood pressure; and (3) provide evidence that both NO and prostaglandins play a role in regulating coronary vascular tone, and thus, blood flow.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2269-2278
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Experimental Biology
Issue number14
Early online date29 May 2015
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2015



  • Vasomotor responses
  • Oncorhynchus mykiss
  • Heart
  • Cytokine
  • Tone
  • Vascular resistance

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