European Journal of Nutrition

, 48:499

Food derived carbonyl compounds affect basal and stimulated secretion of interleukin-6 and -8 in Caco-2 cells


    • Institute of Nutritional ScienceUniversity of Giessen
  • Silvia Rudloff
    • Department of PediatricsUniversity of Giessen
  • Julia Ehl
    • Institute of Nutritional ScienceUniversity of Giessen
  • Reinhard G. Bretzel
    • Medical Clinic III and PoliclinicUniversity of Giessen
  • Clemens Kunz
    • Institute of Nutritional ScienceUniversity of Giessen
Short Contribution

DOI: 10.1007/s00394-009-0035-9

Cite this article as:
Kuntz, S., Rudloff, S., Ehl, J. et al. Eur J Nutr (2009) 48: 499. doi:10.1007/s00394-009-0035-9



The carbonyl compounds methylglyoxal (MG) and glyoxal (G) are reactive intermediates generated in a variety of foods and beverages during processing and prolonged storage.

Aim and methods

We investigated direct effects of these compounds on intestinal cells determining the basal and stimulated secretion of IL-8 and IL-6 in vitro.


MG or G induced a concentration dependent enhancement of IL-8 and IL-6 secretion compared to baseline levels. A co-incubation with pro-inflammatory cytokines such as tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α), interleukin-1β (IL-1β) or lipopolysaccharides (LPS) and increasing MG concentrations further enhanced IL-8 and IL-6 secretion. For G, however, this additive effect was only observed in TNF-α and IL-1β treated cells, but not after co-incubation with LPS.


These results suggest a pro-inflammatory effect of G and MG at high concentrations in human intestinal cells by stimulating IL-8 and IL-6 cytokine levels. Effects of G and MG in combination with other cytokines may negatively affect inflammatory processes.


Caco-2 cells Glyoxal Methylglyoxal Interleukin-8 Interleukin-6

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2009