Interleukin-1 regulates cytokine gene expression in human mesangial cells through the interleukin-1 receptor type 1

Carla Zoja, Stefania Bettoni, Marina Morigi, Giuseppe Remuzzi, Alessandro Rambaldi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We have recently shown that interleukin-1 is a potent stimulus of gene expression and production of leukocyte chemotactic factors, colony-stimulating factors, and interleukin-6 in human mesangial cells in culture. Here, we sought to determine whether interleukin-1 induces its own gene expression in human mesangial cells. Interleukin-1 mRNA levels were quantitated by Northern blot analysis with total cellular RNAs isolated from human mesangial cells exposed for 6 h to medium alone or in the presence of human recombinant interleukin-1β (1 to 100 ng/mL). Interleukin-1 induced interleukin-1 mRNA expression in a dose-dependent manner. An additional finding of this study was that human mesangial cells constitutively express the 80 kd interleukin-1 receptor type 1 gene. When human mesangial cells were exposed to interleukin-1, interleukin-1 receptor expression was not modified. Similarly, other stimuli like tumor necrosis factor, transforming growth factor beta, or interleukin-6 did not modulate interleukin-1 receptor expression. Recombinant interleukin-1 receptor antagonist blocked the interleukin-1 mRNA as well as interleukin-6 and interleukin-8 mRNA accumulation induced by interleukin-1β. Lipopolysaccharide, which is a known stimulus for interleukin-1 transcription in several cell types, also induced interleukin-1 mRNA accumulation, thus indicating that lipopolysaccharide mediates interleukin-1 gene activation in human mesangial cells through an interleukin-1-independent pathway. These data support the pivotal role of interleukin-1 in regulating mesangial cell cytokine genes and may be taken to indicate the existence of an interleukin-1-mediated positive feedback loop that might control the secretion of active cytokines within the glomeruli when an immunological or inflammatory injury takes place.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1709-1715
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of the American Society of Nephrology
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - Jun 1992


  • Interleukin-1 gene
  • Interleukin-1 receptor antagonist
  • Interleukin-6 gene
  • Interleukin-8 gene
  • Lipopolysaccharide

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nephrology


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