The production of pro-inflammatory cytokines (IL-1B, IL-6, and TNF-a), and anti-inflammatory cytokine IL-10 by peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) from 13 children 2 weeks after a febrile convulsion and in 11 without a history of febrile convulsion, was studied at the C Schneider Children’s Medical Center, Rabin Medical Center, and Sackler School of Medicine, Tel Aviv University, Israel. Both groups showed an increase in all types of cytokine production, but the secretion of IL-6 and IL-10 in response to lipopolysaccharide stimulation of PBMC was greater in those with a history of febrile convulsions. [1]

COMMENT. Cytokine production by PBMCs of children with a history of febrile seizures at steady state differs from those without convulsions. Infection stimulates immune cells to produce pro-inflammatory cytokines, that can affect brain function and result in seizures. IL-10 inhibits the production of pro-inflammatory cytokines and has an antipyretic effect. The increased production of IL-10 in the above patients with seizures may be a defense mechanism. The authors comment that cytokine profiles of patients with febrile convulsions and their families may be worthwhile.