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Mol Hum Reprod. 1999 Nov;5(11):1055-8.

Effects of interleukin-6 (IL-6) on cytotrophoblastic cells.

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Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Geneva University Hospital and WHO Collaborating Centre in Human Reproduction, University of Geneva, Switzerland.


Tumour invasion and trophoblastic invasion share the same biochemical mediators: the matrix metalloproteinases (MMP) and their inhibitors. In contrast to tumour invasion of a host tissue, trophoblastic invasion during implantation and placentation is stringently controlled both in tissue localization and developmental stage. The factors responsible for these important regulatory processes are unknown, but in-vitro studies point to endometrial cytokines and growth factors as possible candidates. Here we examined the possibility that interleukin-6 (IL-6), a trophoblastic and endometrial cytokine, represents such a regulatory factor. Purified first trimester cytotrophoblastic cells (CTB) were cultured for 4 days in presence or absence of increasing concentrations of IL-6. MMP-2 and MMP-9 bioactivity (zymography) and immunoactivity were measured in the culture supernatants together with total human chorionic gonadotrophin (HCG), fetal fibronectin (FFN) and leptin. IL-6 did not change the cytotrophoblastic secretion of FFN or total HCG. In contrast, this cytokine induced a dose-dependent stimulation of the leptin secretion and increased the activity, but not the immunoreactivity, of MMP-9 and MMP-2. These results indicate that IL-6 could be considered as an endometrio-trophoblastic regulator of cytotrophoblastic gelatinases.

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