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Eur J Immunol. 1990 Nov;20(11):2439-43.

Glucocorticoids inhibit the production of IL6 from monocytes, endothelial cells and fibroblasts.

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Institute of Cancer Research, University of Trondheim, Norway.


We have examined the effect of dexamethasone (DM) and cortisol on the production of interleukin (IL)6 from the murine macrophage cell line RAW264.9, human monocytes, human endothelial cells and the human fibroblast cell line FS4. In RAW264.9 cells DM in the concentration range 10(-9) M to 10(-6) M inhibited the lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-induced production of IL6 by 10% to 90%. Cortisol had a similar effect, but was about 25 times less potent than DM. Also, when 10(-6) M of DM was added to the cultures after addition of LPS, it completely inhibited the residual 24-h production of IL6. Corresponding to the effect on IL6 production, DM (10(-6) M) reduced the mRNA levels for IL6 in the RAW264.9 cells. The glucocorticoid analogue RU 486 competes with DM and cortisol for the glucocorticoid receptor and reversed the inhibitory effect of DM, demonstrating that DM exerts its effect via the glucocorticoid receptor. DM also had an inhibitory effect on LPS-stimulated IL6 production in freshly isolated human monocytes, and on IL 1-stimulated IL6 production in human endothelial cells and FS4 fibroblasts. These results demonstrate that DM via a receptor-mediated mechanism inhibits IL6 production at the transcriptional level, and this may contribute to the anti-inflammatory and immunosuppressive effect of glucocorticoids.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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