The multifunctional cytokine IL-6, which can be locally produced by human bronchial epithelial cells (HBECs), has been found to play a role in IL-4 dependent IgE synthesis. Since the allergic reaction in bronchial asthma is associated with the upregulation of IL-4 and Th2 type of immune response, the purpose of our study was to assess whether IL-4 and related cytokines IL-10 and IL-13 regulate IL-6 release by HBEC s. HBECs were obtained by bronchial brushing, cultured in LHC-9/RPMI 1640. At the third passage the cells were stimulated with cytokines (0.1-20 ng/ml) diluted in unsupplemented media for 24 h. The supernatants were tested for IL-6 content by sandwich ELISA. Unstimulated HBECs produced detectable amounts of IL-6 (368±25 pg/ml). Exposure to IL-10 (368±22 pg/ml) and IL-13 (395±6 pg/ml) resulted in little changes. IL-4 caused a slight but significant increase in IL-6 release (530±45 pg/ml), P<0.05, TNFα (1657±85 pg/ml) and IFNγ (1953±37 pg/ml) showed strong induction of IL-6 release in HBECs (P<0.005 and P<0.001, respectively). Both IL-4 and IL-13 significantly inhibited TNF induced IL-6 release (P<0.01 for both) while augmenting the effect of IFNγ (P<0.005 and P<0.01, respectively.). IL-10 was without a significant effect. We conclude that Th2-type cytokines IL-4 and IL-13 affect the release of IL-6 by HBECs in response to TNFα (inhibition) and IFγ (augmentation). IL-10 had no effect on the regulation of IL-6 release. Modulation of IL-6 levels by Th2-type cytokines may play a role in allergic reactions through the IL-6 promoting effect on IL-4 mediated IgE production. Copyright (C) 1999 Elsevier Science B.V.
- Human bronchial epithelial cells
- IL-6 release
- Th2-type cytokines
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Immunology and Allergy