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J Immunol. 1998 Sep 1;161(5):2567-73.

The up-regulation of IL-6 and IL-8 in human endothelial cells by activated protein C.

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Hematologic Diseases Branch, National Center for Infectious Diseases, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, GA 30333, USA. WOH1@CDC.C-OV


The protein C/protein S anticoagulant pathway has been proposed to be a common link between coagulation and inflammation. Studies have suggested that a component of the anticoagulant pathway, activated protein C (APC), may play a role in the inflammatory response by modulating the effects of cytokines such as TNF and by blocking neutrophil activation. Cytokines are known to be intimately involved in the inflammatory response and to function in part to restore hemostatic balance. To begin to delineate what role APC may have in the inflammatory response, we have investigated the effect of APC on the production of the proinflammatory cytokines IL-6 and IL-8 in primary HUVEC, human microvascular endothelial cells, and human coronary artery endothelial cells. Our results have demonstrated that physiologic concentrations of APC significantly up-regulated the production of both IL-6 and IL-8. This increase, which was seen at both the RNA and protein level, was not due to either thrombin or LPS contamination of the APC preparation. Additional studies also showed that the APC-mediated up-regulation of IL-6 and IL-8 was IL-1 independent. Although neither purified protein C nor protein S alone had an effect on cytokine production, protein S, the cofactor for APC, significantly enhanced the ability of APC to up-regulate IL-6/IL-8 production. These results provide further evidence for a role for APC in the inflammatory response.

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