Send to:

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Mol Biol Cell. 2009 Jan;20(1):188-99. doi: 10.1091/mbc.E08-05-0463. Epub 2008 Oct 29.

Interleukin-6 and neural stem cells: more than gliogenesis.

Author information

  • 1Department of Molecular and Cell Biology, School of Biological Sciences, College of Science, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore, Singapore.


Besides its wide range of action as a proinflammatory cytokine in the immune system, interleukin-6 (IL-6) has also attracted much attention due to its influence on the nervous system. In the present study we show that the designer fusion protein H-IL-6, consisting of IL-6 and its specific receptor IL-6R-alpha, but not IL-6 alone, mediates both neuro- as well as gliogenesis. Using immunocytochemistry, Western blot, and patch-clamp recording, we demonstrate that H-IL-6 induces the differentiation of neural stem cells (NSCs) specifically into glutamate-responsive neurons and two morphological distinctive astroglia cell types. H-IL-6-activated neurogenesis seems to be induced by the MAPK/CREB (mitogen-activated protein kinase/cAMP response element-binding protein) cascade, whereas gliogenesis is mediated via the STAT-3 (signal transducers and activators of transcription protein-3) signaling pathway. Our finding that IL-6 mediates both processes depending on its specific soluble receptor sIL-6R-alpha has implications for the potential treatment of neurodegenerative diseases.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for HighWire Icon for PubMed Central
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk