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Arthritis Rheum. 1999 Apr;42(4):710-8.

Inhibition of tumor necrosis factor alpha-induced prostaglandin E2 production by the antiinflammatory cytokines interleukin-4, interleukin-10, and interleukin-13 in osteoarthritic synovial fibroblasts: distinct targeting in the signaling pathways.

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University of Montréal, and Centre Hospitalier de l'Université de Montréal, Quebec, Canada.



To investigate the effects of the antiinflammatory cytokines interleukin-4 (IL-4), IL-10, and IL-13 on tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNFalpha)-induced prostaglandin E2 (PGE2) release in the cellular signaling cascade on human osteoarthritis (OA) synovial fibroblasts.


Human OA synovial fibroblasts were cultured to explore the impact of IL-4, IL-10, and IL-13 on TNFalpha binding to TNF receptors (TNFR), soluble TNFR (sTNFR), cytoplasmic phospholipase A2 (cPLA2), and cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) production, and on the binding activity of the transcription factors nuclear factor kappaB (NF-kappaB), CCAAT-enhancer binding protein (C/EBP), activator protein 2 (AP-2), and cyclic AMP response element-binding protein (CREB).


IL-4, IL-10, and IL-13 at 5 ng/ml dramatically reduced TNFalpha-induced PGE2 release by approximately 90% (P < 0.0001). IL-4 up-regulated the level of TNFalpha-induced TNFR by 47% (P < 0.06), while IL-10 down-regulated it by 71% (P < 0.02); IL-13 had no effect. Although statistical significance was not reached, all 3 cytokines up-regulated the basal level of sTNFR-55. IL-4 and IL-10, while not altering the basal level of sTNFR-75, significantly increased the TNFalpha-stimulated release of sTNFR-75. IL-4, IL-10, and IL-13 reduced the TNFalpha-induced COX-2 level, and IL-4 and IL-10 reduced the cPLA2 level. IL-4 had no effect on TNFalpha up-regulation of NF-kappaB, and a slight decrease was noted with IL-10 and IL-13 at the highest concentration used (5 ng/ml). IL-4 and IL-13 decreased the TNFa-induced C/EBP accumulation in a dose-dependent manner, while IL-10 up-regulated its basal level. AP-2 and CREB were not induced by TNFalpha.


The results indicate that these antiinflammatory cytokines reversed the TNFalpha-induced release of PGE2 by OA synovial fibroblasts, by acting at various levels of the TNFa-dependent signaling cascade. These data shed new light on the mechanisms by which these cytokines reduce inflammatory processes.

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