Interleukin-6 inhibits corticosteroid-binding globulin synthesis by human hepatoblastoma-derived (Hep G2) cells

L. Bartalena, G. L. Hammond, A. Farsetti, I. L. Flink, J. Robbins

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Corticosteroid-binding globulin (CBG) belongs to the superfamily of serine proteinase inhibitors which include α1-antitrypsin, α1-antichymotrypsin, and T4-binding globulin. Interleukin-6 (IL-6), the main mediator of the acute phase phenomenon, increases α1-antitrypsin and α1-antichymotrypsin synthesis and decreases T4-binding globulin synthesis by human hepatoblastoma-derived (Hep G2) cells. This effect is predominantly at a transcriptional level. When Hep G2 cells were eiposed to different concentrations of IL-6 for variable time intervals, IL-6 caused a dose- and time-dependent decrease in the amount of [35S]methionine-labeled CBG immunoprecipitated in the culture medium. This effect could be greatly reduced by preincubation of IL-6 with its neutralizing antibody and reversed by removing the cytokine from the culture medium. The secretion rate of CBG was not affected by cell exposure to IL-6. CBG mRNA steady state levels were reduced; changes in mRNA were quantitatively similar to changes in secreted protein. Nuclear run-off assays failed to show a change in the rate of transcription of the CBG gene. These data indicate that IL-6 diminishes CBG synthesis by Hep G2 cells acting at a posttranscriptional level, presumably through a reduced stability of mRNA. In view of the role of IL-6 in the inflammatory process and other acute phase phenomena, these data suggest that its effects on CBG synthesis might influence the bioavailability of cortisol indirectly and play a role in regulating the homeostatic process during these conditions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)291-296
Number of pages6
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jul 1993

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism


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