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Cytokine. 2010 Aug;51(2):178-83. doi: 10.1016/j.cyto.2010.03.017. Epub 2010 Apr 18.

IL-6 and IL-1 synergistically enhanced the production of MMPs from synovial cells by up-regulating IL-6 production and IL-1 receptor I expression.

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  • 1Product Research Department, Fuji-Gotemba Research Laboratories, Chugai Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd., Shizuoka, Japan.


In the present study, we investigated potential synergism between IL-6 and IL-1 for the production of matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) by the synovial cell line SW982. Cells were cultured with different combinations of IL-6, soluble IL-6 receptor (sIL-6R) and IL-1beta for 24h and production of MMPs was then measured. IL-6+sIL-6R, but not IL-6 alone, induced MMP-13 and MMP-3 production. IL-1beta also induced production of MMPs. Of interest, addition of IL-6+sIL-6R together with IL-1beta synergistically increased MMP production. Next, we analyzed the mechanism responsible for the synergistic effects of IL-6+sIL-6R and IL-1beta in combination. IL-1beta-induced MMP production was significantly augmented in the presence of sIL-6R. IL-1beta as well as IL-6+sIL-6R induced IL-6 production. Moreover, IL-6+sIL-6R significantly augmented expression of IL-1RI, but not IL-1RII, in SW982 cells. Responsiveness to IL-1beta was much higher in IL-6+sIL-6R-pretreated cells than non-treated cells in terms of MMP production. Finally, IL-6+sIL-6R-induced IL-1RI expression was inhibited by a STAT pathway inhibitor, but not a MAPK pathway inhibitor. These results suggest that increased expression of IL-1RI stimulated by IL-6+sIL-6R and the increased production of IL-6 on exposure to IL-1beta and IL-6+sIL-6R are involved in the observed synergistic effect on the production of MMPs by SW982 cells.

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