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J Trauma. 1996 Apr;40(4):575-8; discussion 578-9.

Interleukin-6 delays neutrophil apoptosis via a mechanism involving platelet-activating factor.

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Department of Surgery, Denver General Hospital, University of Colorado Health Sciences Center, CO 80204, USA.



Interleukin (IL)-6, an integral mediator of the physiologic acute phase response to injury, has been associated with adverse postinjury complications when present in excessive concentrations. The precise role of IL-6 is unclear, but may involve exacerbation of polymorphonuclear neutrophil leukocytes (PMN)-mediated hyperinflammation. We have shown that IL-6 delays PMN apoptosis, thereby inhibiting the resolution of inflammation. More recently we have found that IL-6 stimulates PMNs to generate platelet-activating factor (PAF). Given the evidence for PAF involvement in postinjury hyperinflammation, we hypothesized that IL-6 delayed apoptosis via a mechanism involving PAF.


PMNs were isolated from healthy human donors using plasma-Percoll gradients and were cultured in enriched RPMI 1640 media at 2 x 10(7) PMNs/mL for 24 hours (37 degrees C, 5% CO2). Subgroups were treated with IL-6 (0.1-10 ng/mL) or PAF (0.1-10 ng/mL) or pretreated with the PAF receptor antagonist WEB 2170 (20 microM) before IL-6 or PAF. Morphologic assessment and quantitation of apoptosis was performed with acridine orange/ethidium bromide stain.


Both IL-6 and PAF suppressed PMN apoptosis. Pretreating PMNs with WEB 2170 abrogated the effects IL-6 as well as PAF.


Interleukin-6 delays PMN apoptosis via a mechanism involving PAF. These observations may help elucidate the mechanisms of IL-6 and PAF in mediating postinjury hyperinflammation and secondary organ dysfunction, ultimately leading to effective therapeutic targets in patients at risk for multiple organ failure.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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