IL-1 stimulates IL-6 production in endothelial cells

M. Sironi, F. Breviario, P. Proserpio, A. Biondi, A. Vecchi, J. Van Damme, E. Dejana, A. Mantovani

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Leukocytes and vascular cells interact closely in inflammation and immunity and lymphokines are important mediators of this interaction. The present study was designed to define the possible role of IL-6 as a communication signal between vascular and immunocompetent cells. IL-6 was measured as hybridoma growth factor (HGF) on the 7TD1 cell line in the supernatants of human endothelial cells (HEC). HEC released appreciable levels of HGF activity in the absence of deliberate stimulation. In vitro exposure to recombinant IL-1β markedly increased (usually 10 to 15-fold) HGF production by HEC. Optimal stimulation was observed with 0.1 to 50 U/ml for 4 to 20 h of incubation. Human and murine rIL-1α stimulated HGF production in HEC. Anti-IL-6 antibodies inhibited the HGF activity of the HEC supernatants, thus confirming, together with the cytokine specificity of the assay, the nature of HEC-produced cytokine. IL-1-treated HEC expressed high levels of IL-6 mRNA as detected by Northern blot analysis. Inasmuch as IL-1 elicits a complex series of changes in HEC, it was important to assess whether IL-6, produced after exposure to IL-1, modified HEC function. Natural or rIL-6 did not affect the functional status of HEC as assessed by proliferative capacity, production of procoagulant activity and prostacyclin, ability to induce adhesion of polymorphonuclear leukocytes. The capacity to produce IL-6 may represent an important mechanism by which endothelial cells participate in inflammatory and immune reactions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)549-553
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Immunology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1989

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology


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