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

Bibliographical note

© 2015. Published by The Company of Biologists Ltd.

We thank Wenjuan Xu and Xin Xu (Hein Lab) for their excellent instruction in microvessel techniques, Dr David Heeley (Biochemistry Department, MUN) for assistance with selecting an appropriate (non-vasoactive) protein stabilizer, Dr Zou (SFIRC, Aberdeen) for advice with regards to the use of rIL-1β and Gordon Nash (Gamperl Lab) for his assistance with the rIL-1β purification protocol.

This research was supported by a Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada Discovery Grant [RGPIN249926] and Accelerator Supplement [RGPAS412325-2011] to A.K.G. a National Institutes of Health Grant [EY018420] to T.W.H., and a doctoral fellowship from Fundaçã o para a Ciência e a Tecnologia, Portugal [SFRH/BD/27497/2006] to I.A.S.F.C. Deposited in PMC for release after 12 months.


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


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