Production of hemolymphopoietic cytokines (IL-6, IL-8, colony-stimulating factors) by normal human astrocytes in response to IL-1β and tumor necrosis factor-α

Francesca Aloisi, Alessandra Carè, Giovanna Borsellino, Paolo Gallo, Silvia Rosa, Anna Bassani, Andrea Cabibbo, Ugo Testa, Giulio Levi, Cesare Peschle

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Astrocyte-enriched populations were established from human embryonic brain and analyzed for their ability to synthesize cytokines potentially relevant for mechanisms of inflammation and immunity in the brain. Unstimulated astrocytes did not secrete significant IL-6, IL-8, macrophage CSF (M-CSF), granulocyte-macrophage CSF (GM-CSF), or granulocyte-CSF (G-CSF), as determined by specific ELISA and/or bioassay. With the exception of M-CSF mRNA, transcripts for the above factors were not detected in unstimulated astrocytes. On exposure of human astrocytes to IL-1β, high levels of IL-6, IL-8, M-CSF, G-CSF, and GM-CSF mRNAs were detected; moreover, active secretion of all the above cytokines was demonstrated. TNF-α was also able to stimulate IL-6, IL-8, M-CSF, GM-CSF, and G-CSF synthesis and secretion, but was generally less potent than IL-1β. No IL-3 mRNA or protein was detected in unstimulated or cytokine-treated astrocytes. IL-1α and IL-1β mRNAs and proteins were not detected in unstimulated astrocytes, but were present in very small amounts after stimulation with TNF-α/IL-1β. No IL-6, M-CSF, GM-CSF, G-CSF, or IL-8 were induced by IL-1β or TNF-α in early primary cultures, which mainly contain undifferentiated neuronal/glial progenitor cells. These studies demonstrate for the first time the production of multiple cytokines by normal human astrocytes stimulated in culture by IL-Iβ and TNF-α. The capacity of human astrocytes to synthesize and release cytokines active on hemolymphopoietic cells supports the concept that these cells play an important role in the regulation of inflammatory and immune responses in a variety of brain pathologies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2358-2366
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Immunology
Volume149
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - Oct 1 1992

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology

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