Effects of Triclosan Exposures on Expression of Interleukin-1beta and Interleukin-6

Wendy JoAnne Wilburn, Tennessee State University


Triclosan (TCS) is an antimicrobial compound widely used in personal hygiene products such as mouthwash and toothpaste; and has been found in human blood, breast milk, and urine. Interleukin (IL)-6 and IL-1 beta (IL-1β) are pro-inflammatory cytokines regulating cell growth, tissue repair, and immune function; increased levels of each have been associated with many diseases, including cancer. TCS at concentrations between 0.05-5 µM consistently increased the secretion of IL-1β and IL-6 from human immune cells within 24 h of exposure. This increase in secretion was not due simply to release of existing stores, as evidenced by monitoring both secreted and intracellular levels (cellular production) after 10 min, 30 min, 6 h, and 24 h of exposure to TCS. Production (secreted plus intracellular levels) of IL-1β and IL-6 was increased by exposure to one or more concentration of TCS at each length of exposure. TCS-induced stimulation of cytokine production was shown to be dependent on mitogen-activated protein kinases (MAPK) (p38 and ERK 1/2). It was also shown that these TCS-induced increases in IL-1β and IL6 production were accompanied by increased mRNA for IL-1β and IL6. These results verified that TCS increases immune cell production of IL-1β and IL-6. The ability of TCS to increase production indicates that rather than activating a self-limiting process of depleting cells of already existing stores of IL-1β or IL-6, TCS can stimulate a process that has the capacity to provide sustained production of these cytokines and thus may lead to chronic inflammation and its pathological consequences.

Subject Area

Biochemistry|Biology|Cellular biology

Recommended Citation

Wendy JoAnne Wilburn, "Effects of Triclosan Exposures on Expression of Interleukin-1beta and Interleukin-6" (2023). ETD Collection for Tennessee State University. Paper AAI30249591.