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Nephrol Dial Transplant. 1994;9(6):599-606.

Interleukin 6 production by human proximal tubular epithelial cells in vitro: analysis of the effects of interleukin-1 alpha (IL-1 alpha) and other cytokines.

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  • 1Department of Nephrology, University Hospital, Leiden, The Netherlands.


Proximal tubular epithelial cells (PTEC) from human renal tissue obtained from biopsy or nephrectomy were grown in monoculture and evaluated in vitro at passage 2-4 for interleukin 6 (IL-6) production in response to medium alone or to interleukin 1 alpha (IL-1 alpha), tumour necrosis factor alpha (TNF alpha), interleukin 2 (IL-2), interferon gamma (INF gamma) or lipopolysaccharide (LPS). IL-6 bioactivity was quantitated using the IL-6-dependent murine hybridoma cell line (B9) and expressed as IL-6 units/ml/10(5) PTEC. PTEC cell lines exposed to medium alone produced intermediate amounts of IL-6 with substantial variability between cell lines. Introduction of IL-1 alpha resulted in a dose- and time-dependent increase in IL-6 production by PTEC that was maximal at 1 ng/ml IL-1 alpha at 24 h. All PTEC cell lines showed an increased IL-6 production on exposure to IL-1 alpha varying from 1.3- to 24-fold increase over baseline production. This response was completely blocked by anti-rIL-1 alpha. No significant IL-6 production by PTEC could be induced by TNF alpha, IL-2, IFN gamma, or LPS over a broad dosage range. Cycloheximide inhibited IL-6 production without irreversible cell toxicity, indicating de-novo synthesis. IL-6 produced by PTEC had a molecular weight of 26-29 kDa as demonstrated by Western blot analysis. Using PCR analysis we could demonstrate upregulation by IL-1 alpha of IL-6 mRNA in a dose-response fashion, indicating that IL-1 alpha regulates IL-6 production at a pretranslational value of protein synthesis.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

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