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Am J Physiol Lung Cell Mol Physiol. 2001 Jun;280(6):L1225-32.

Interleukin-6 family cytokines: signaling and effects in human airway smooth muscle cells.

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  • 1Physiology Program, Harvard School of Public Health, 665 Huntington Ave., Boston, MA 02115, USA.


Interleukin (IL)-1beta induces cyclooxygenase (COX)-2 expression and prostanoid formation in cultured human airway smooth muscle (HASM) cells. In other cell types, IL-6 family cytokines induce COX-2 or augment IL-1beta-induced COX-2 expression. The purpose of this study was to determine whether IL-6 family cytokines were involved in COX-2 expression in HASM cells. RT-PCR was used to demonstrate that the necessary receptor components for IL-6-type cytokine binding are expressed in HASM cells. IL-6 and oncostatin M (OSM) each caused a dose-dependent phosphorylation of signal transducer and activator of transcription-3, whereas IL-11 did not. IL-6, IL-11, and OSM alone had no effect on COX-2 expression. However, OSM caused dose-dependent augmentation of COX-2 expression and prostaglandin (PG) E(2) release induced by IL-1beta. In contrast, IL-6 and IL-11 did not alter IL-1beta-induced COX-2 expression. IL-6 did increase IL-1beta-induced PGE(2) formation in unstimulated cells but not in cells stimulated with arachidonic acid (AA; 10(-5) M), suggesting that IL-6 effects were mediated at the level of AA release. Our results indicate that IL-6 and OSM are capable of inducing signaling in HASM cells. In addition, OSM and IL-1beta synergistically cause COX-2 expression and PGE(2) release.

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