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Eur J Immunol. 1988 May;18(5):739-46.

Action of recombinant human interleukin 6, interleukin 1 beta and tumor necrosis factor alpha on the mRNA induction of acute-phase proteins.

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  • 1Biochemisches Institut, Universit├Ąt Freiburg, FRG.


The rat hepatoma cell line Fao was used to study the role of three inflammatory mediators on the mRNA regulation of several acute-phase proteins. In the presence of 10(-6) M dexamethasone beta-fibrinogen mRNA levels increased 6-fold after addition of recombinant human IL 6 (rhIL 6). rhIL 1 beta or recombinant human tumor necrosis factor alpha (rhTNF alpha) had essentially no effect on beta-fibrinogen mRNA induction but led to a 20-fold increase in alpha 1-acid glycoprotein mRNA in the presence of dexamethasone. On the other hand, rhIL 6 was a much weaker stimulator of alpha 1-acid glycoprotein mRNA synthesis. All three mediators reduced albumin mRNA concentrations to about 30% of controls. Whereas the induction of beta-fibrinogen mRNA was potentiated by dexamethasone, the synthetic glucocorticoid analog was an absolute requirement for the stimulation of alpha 1-acid glycoprotein mRNA. The mRNA levels of the negative acute-phase protein albumin were induced 5-fold by dexamethasone alone. The beta-fibrinogen mRNA induction started immediately after addition of rhIL 6 and reached a maximum between 12 and 18 h. In contrast, the time-course for alpha 1-acid glycoprotein mRNA synthesis showed a lag phase of 8 h followed by an increase up to 20 h after rhIL 1 beta. rhTNF alpha led to an even more delayed increase in alpha 1-acid glycoprotein mRNA. Whereas in the case of beta-fibrinogen mRNA induction no synergistic effect was observed between various concentrations of the three mediators, the combination of rhIL 6/rhIL 1 beta as well as rhIL 6/rhTNF alpha or rhIL 1 beta/rhTNF alpha regulated synergistically alpha 1-acid glycoprotein and albumin mRNA. It is concluded that discrete acute-phase proteins are regulated differently by the inflammatory mediators IL 6, IL 1 beta and TNF alpha, indicating that the acute-phase response is more complex than previously assumed. The Fao cell line used in this study turned out to be an ideal model for acute-phase protein regulation, suitable for the discrimination between the inflammatory mediators IL 6 and IL 1/TNF alpha.

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