We evaluated the proinflammatory cytokines, TNF-α and IL-1β, mRNA expression in the rat sciatic and tibial nerves following ischemia-reperfusion (IR) injury, using competitive RT-PCR, to explore the role of cytokines in IR injury. The expressions of both TNF-α and IL-1β mRNA were related to severity of ischemia and occurred with reperfusion rather than ischemia alone. TNF-α gene expression peaked at 24 h of reperfusion, while that of IL-1β peaked at 12 h. These data support the notion that the proinflammatory cytokines TNF-α and IL-1β are involved in the inflammatory response of IR injury to the peripheral nervous system and may be involved in the pathophysiology of ischemic fiber degeneration. Copyright (C) 1999 Elsevier Science B.V.
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