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Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2010 Jan 1;391(1):287-92. doi: 10.1016/j.bbrc.2009.11.051. Epub 2009 Nov 12.

IL-11 expression in retinal and corneal cells is regulated by interferon-gamma.

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  • 1Laboratory of Immunology, National Eye Institute, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD 20892, United States.


Interleukin-11 (IL-11) is an anti-apoptotic, anti-inflammatory cytokine with hematopoietic potential. The expression and protective actions of IL-11 have not been explored in the eye. The expression of IL-11 in primary cultures of human retinal pigment epithelial (HRPE) and human corneal fibroblast (HCRF) cells were evaluated in these studies. Constitutive secretion of IL-11 was not observed in either HRPE or HCRF. TNF-alpha+IL-1 induced IL-11 secretion and this production was inhibited by NFkappaB pathway inhibitors. IFN-gamma significantly inhibited TNF-alpha and IL-1 induced IL-11 secretion and inhibitors of JAK-STAT pathway reversed this inhibition. TGF-beta induced IL-11 secretion that was blocked by TGF-beta receptor 1 inhibitor but not by IFN-gamma. RT-PCR analysis confirmed the effects of IL-1, TNF-alpha, IFN-gamma and TGF-beta on IL-11 secretion at mRNA levels. Our results demonstrate that IL-11 is dramatically up regulated in retina and cornea cells and that IFN-gamma is a physiological inhibitor of IL-11 expression.

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