Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Microbiology and Immunology


Inflammation is common to the pathogenesis of a variety of diseases. Therapeutics which can regulate and reduce damaging inflammation are therefore valuable in the treatment of inflammation and inflammatory diseases.

One commonly used analgesic, recently identified as limiting inflammation, is lidocaine. Additionally, alternative, less toxic therapeutics like the snake venom peptides, Zep 3 and Zep 4, are thought to have anti-inflammatory effects. Yet a well-defined mechanism or cellular target for lidocaine or Zep peptides' anti-inflammatory effects has not been proposed.

We aimed to determine whether lidocaine and Zep peptides reduce the release of the proinflammatory cytokine, IL-1β, from activated human macrophage-like cells, and second to characterize the mechanism of anti-inflammatory activity of these molecules. We found that pretreatment with lidocaine and Zep peptides attenuated the release of IL-1β from activated macrophages at least in part by downregulating gene expression of the proinflammatory cytokines, IL-6 and proIL-1β.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.