Article Text

Download PDFPDF

Production and modulation of interleukin 6 synthesis by synoviocytes derived from patients with arthritic disease.
  1. J T Rosenbaum,
  2. R Cugnini,
  3. D C Tara,
  4. S Hefeneider,
  5. J C Ansel
  1. Department of Medicine, Oregon Health Sciences University, Portland 97201.


    Interleukin 6 (IL-6) is a potent cytokine, the biological activities of which include the stimulation of immunoglobulin secretion, T cell activation, induction of the acute phase response, activation of megakaryocytes, and pyrogenicity. These biological activities make it a plausible contributor to rheumatoid arthritis. The ability of synoviocytes to synthesise this potential mediator of inflammation was tested. Cultures of fibroblast-like cells were established from joint tissue from patients with rheumatoid arthritis, degenerative joint disease, or trauma. Supernatants from synoviocytes from each diagnostic category contained IL-6-like activity as detected in a B9 plasmacytoma cell proliferation assay. Supernatants from IL-1 stimulated synoviocytes from patients with rheumatoid arthritis (n = 5) contained an average of 70,000 U/ml IL-6. Western blot analysis confirmed that these supernatants contained peptides that reacted with a highly specific antibody to IL-6. A cDNA probe specific for IL-6 hybridised with mRNA derived from synoviocytes representative of each disease state. Interleukin 6 mRNA expression increased by culturing synoviocytes in the presence of 10% calf serum, IL-1 (30 U/ml), insulin (166 ng/ml), or basic fibroblast growth factor (16 ng/ml). In contrast, dexamethasone (10(-6) mol/l) suppressed the ability of IL-1 to increase the expression of IL-6 mRNA. Recombinant IL-6 itself did not detectably upregulate its own message. The regulation of production of IL-6 by synoviocytes may be important in the pathogenesis of joint inflammation.

    Statistics from

    Request Permissions

    If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.