Send to

Choose Destination
Can J Microbiol. 1991 Jun;37(6):479-83.

Recombinant interleukin-6 increases the intracellular and extracellular growth of Mycobacterium avium.

Author information

ICI Pharmaceuticals, Macclesfield, Cheshire, England.


Human monocytes were isolated from the peripheral blood of normal donors and allowed to differentiate in vitro into macrophages. The susceptibility of these cells to infection with a virulent Mycobacterium avium and its modulation by some soluble factors was monitored. The virulent strain of Mycobacterium avium grew progressively in untreated macrophage monolayers. Interleukin-6 (IL-6) was tested for its ability to modulate the macrophage-mycobacteria interaction. Surprisingly, IL-6 was shown to increase M. avium growth in macrophage monolayers by twofold as compared with untreated cells, when added before or after infection. Moreover, addition of rIL-6 to replicating mycobacteria in vitro enhanced their growth two- to three-fold as compared with cultures treated with rIL-6 and a rabbit antiserum to rIL-6. Treatment with IL-6 and interferon-gamma (IFN-gamma) or IL-4 did not modify the growth promoting effect of IL-6 in human macrophages. Overall, our results suggest that IL-6 may contribute significantly to the pathogenesis of infections with M. avium by promoting mycobacterial growth.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Atypon
Loading ...
Support Center