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J Nephrol. 2008 Nov-Dec;21(6):887-93.

Albumin induces interleukin-6 release from primary human proximal tubule epithelial cells.

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South West Thames Institute for Renal Research, St. Helier Hospital, Carshalton, Surrey - UK.



Proximal tubule epithelial cells (PTECs) release proinflammatory and profibrogenic mediators when exposed to serum albumin that may contribute to progression of kidney disease. Interleukin 6 (IL-6) may influence renal fibrosis by modulating transforming growth factor beta1 (TGFbeta1) signalling. PTECs have been demonstrated to produce IL-6 in response to albumin treatment, but the mechanism has not been investigated. We hypothesized that albumin would induce release of IL-6 from PTECs, which would be sensitive to inhibition of PI3K, ERK1,2, p38 MAPK and NFkB.


Primary human PTECs were exposed to albumin (0.75-150 micronM) for 8 and 24 hours. IL-6 release was determined using enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). The effects of LY294002 (10 micronM), NH4Cl (10 mM), pyrrolidine dithiocarbamate (PDTC) (20 micronM), CAPE (17.5 micronM), PD098059 (20 micronM), SB202190 (5 micronM) and MG132 (10 micronM) on albumin-mediated IL-6 release were studied.


Albumin caused a significant time- and concentration-dependent increase in IL-6 release by PTECs. LY294002, NH4Cl, CAPE, PD098059 and SB202190 all reduced albumin-mediated IL-6 release, but neither PDTC nor MG132 had any effect.


These data demonstrate that albumin induces IL-6 release by primary human PTECs, and support a role for endocytosis, p38 MAPK, ERK1,2 and in this process.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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