Critical appraisal of four IL-6 immunoassays.
BACKGROUND: Interleukin-6 (IL-6) contributes to numerous inflammatory, metabolic, and physiologic pathways of disease. We evaluated four IL-6 immunoassays in order to identify a reliable assay for studies of metabolic and physical function. Serial plasma samples from intravenous glucose tolerance tests (IVGTTs), with expected rises in IL-6 concentrations, were used to test the face validity of the various assays. METHODS AND FINDINGS: IVGTTs, administered to 14 subjects, were performed with a single infusion of glucose (0.3 g/kg body mass) at time zero, a single infusion of insulin (0.025 U/kg body mass) at 20 minutes, and frequent blood collection from time zero to 180 minutes for subsequent Il-6 measurement. The performance metrics of four IL-6 detection methods were compared: Meso Scale Discovery immunoassay (MSD), an Invitrogen Luminex bead-based multiplex panel (LX), an Invitrogen Ultrasensitive Luminex bead-based singleplex assay (ULX), and R&D High Sensitivity ELISA (R&D). IL-6 concentrations measured with MSD, R&D and ULX correlated with each other (Pearson Correlation Coefficients r = 0.47-0.94, p<0.0001) but only ULX correlated (r = 0.31, p = 0.0027) with Invitrogen Luminex. MSD, R&D, and ULX, but not LX, detected increases in IL-6 in response to glucose. All plasma samples were measurable by MSD, while 35%, 1%, and 4.3% of samples were out of range when measured by LX, ULX, and R&D, respectively. Based on representative data from the MSD assay, baseline plasma IL-6 (0.90 ± 0.48 pg/mL) increased significantly as expected by 90 minutes (1.29 ± 0.59 pg/mL, p = 0.049), and continued rising through 3 hours (4.25 ± 3.67 pg/mL, p = 0.0048). CONCLUSION: This study established the face validity of IL-6 measurement by MSD, R&D, and ULX but not LX, and the superiority of MSD with respect to dynamic range. Plasma IL-6 concentrations increase in response to glucose and insulin, consistent with both an early glucose-dependent response (detectable at 1-2 hours) and a late insulin-dependent response (detectable after 2 hours).
Thompson, DK; Huffman, KM; Kraus, WE; Kraus, VB
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