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Endocrinology. 1992 Sep;131(3):1037-46.

Secretion and hormonal regulation of interleukin-6 production by mouse uterine stromal and polarized epithelial cells cultured in vitro.

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Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center, Houston 77030.


Uterine stromal (USC) and uterine epithelial (UEC) cells were isolated from immature and mature mice to determine their ability to secrete interleukin-6 (IL-6) in response to ovarian steroids, IL-1 alpha, and soluble products produced by the heterologous cell type. In addition, the effect of IL-6 on embryo attachment and outgrowth in vitro was determined. UEC cultured on nitrocellulose filter inserts in a polarized manner secreted IL-6 with a 2.5- to 5-fold apical vs. basal preference, as determined by a B9 hybridoma cell proliferation assay and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. The hormonal status of animals at the time uteri were removed did not influence subsequent secretion of IL-6, as UEC isolated from immature, diestrous, and estrous stage mice exhibited both a similar amount and had a similar apical preference for secretion of IL-6. The addition of 17 beta-estradiol (E) to UEC cultures markedly inhibited total IL-6 secretion, but did not affect vectorial secretion. The inhibitory effect of E on IL-6 secretion by UEC was consistent with an apparent decrease in IL-6 transcript observed by a reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction assay. Other transcripts detected by this assay in UEC included IL-1 alpha, but not IL-1 beta or tumor necrosis factor-alpha. Secretion of IL-6 by UEC was not stimulated by IL-1 alpha, conditioned medium from USC, or coculture with USC. USC secreted IL-6, and while this also was inhibited by E, progesterone was more effective in this regard at physiological concentrations. In addition, there was a synergistic effect of E plus progesterone on inhibition of IL-6 secretion by USC. Secretion of IL-6 by USC was stimulated by IL-1 alpha, and coculture studies demonstrated the ability of UEC to stimulate a several-fold increase in IL-6 secretion by USC. The cytokine transcripts detected in USC cultures included IL-6 and IL-1 alpha, but not IL-1 beta. Transcripts for tumor necrosis factor-alpha were present in USC only after culture with IL-1 alpha. IL-6 added to blastocysts on laminin-coated tissue culture wells resulted in a transient inhibition of the rate of blastocyst attachment and, to a greater extent, an inhibition of the rate of embryo outgrowth. In addition, IL-6 inhibited the size of embryo outgrowths at 24 and 48 h of culture.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 400 WORDS).

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