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Endocrinology. 2000 Oct;141(10):3749-63.

Selective involvement of interleukin-6 in the transcriptional activation of the suppressor of cytokine signaling-3 in the brain during systemic immune challenges.

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CHUL Research Center and Department of Anatomy and Physiology, Laval University, Québec, Canada.


Cytokine-inducible proteins named as suppressors of cytokine signaling (SOCS) are rapidly induced by interleukin-6 (IL-6) and other members sharing the gp130 receptor subunit after activation of the Janus kinases (JAK) and the signal transducers and activators of transcription (STAT). These inhibitory proteins generally prevent tyrosine phosphorylation of IL-6 receptor signaling subunit gp130, specific JAK and STAT or in acting at steps distal to JAK activation. Expression of these inhibitory proteins is therefore a useful tool to investigate the signaling events occurring in the brain during immunogenic stimuli that involve cytokines of the IL-6 family. This study investigated the effect of ip lipopolysaccharide (LPS) administration on the expression of one key member of the SOCS family, SOCS-3, in both rats and mice. In rats, the endotoxin caused a profound transcriptional activation of the inhibitory factor in the circumventricular organs subfornical organ, organum vasculosum of the lamina terminalis, arcuate nucleus/median eminence, area postrema, choroid plexus, leptomeninges, ependymal lining cells, and along the endothelium of the brain blood vessels. The hybridization signal for SOCS-3 messenger RNA was low at 1 h, but robust at 3 and 6 h and declined to return to basal levels 12 h after the single ip LPS injection. The pattern of SOCS-3 expression was similar in the brain of wild-type mice, although induction of the inhibitory factor was no longer observed in the ependymal lining cells of the cerebral ventricles and the blood microvessels of IL-6-deficient animals at all the times evaluated, i.e. from 1-8 h post-LPS injection. The endothelium of the brain capillaries also exhibited up-regulation of both IL-6 receptor and gp130 subunits during systemic inflammation, which allowed SOCS-3 expression in response to circulating IL-6. The present data indicate that the JAK/STAT transduction pathways that lead to SOCS-3 transcription are activated within cells accessible from the blood circulation, but not within deep parenchymal elements of the brain during endotoxemia. Induction of SOCS-3 followed the cascade of events that take place during the acute phase response and the contribution of IL-6 in activating the inhibitory factor is site specific and not generalized throughout the central nervous system.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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