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Am J Physiol. 1999 Jan;276(1):L175-85. doi: 10.1152/ajplung.1999.276.1.L175.

Dexamethasone regulation of lung epithelial cell and fibroblast interleukin-11 production.

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Section of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, Connecticut 06520-8057, USA.


Studies were undertaken to define the effects of corticosteroids on stromal cell interleukin (IL)-11 production. Unstimulated A549 epithelial-like cells produced modest amounts of IL-11, and transforming growth factor (TGF)-beta1 was a potent, dose-dependent stimulator of A549 cell IL-11 elaboration. Dexamethasone inhibited the levels of basal and TGF-beta1-stimulated IL-11 elaboration in a dose-dependent fashion. In the setting of TGF-beta1 stimulation, dexamethasone caused a >90% decrease in IL-11 production at 10(-6) M, a 50% decrease in IL-11 production at approximately 1 x 10(-9) M, and significant inhibition at 10(-10) M. This dexamethasone-induced inhibition was reversed by the glucocorticoid-receptor antagonist RU-486. Dexamethasone also inhibited respiratory syncytial virus, rhinovirus, and TGF-beta1-stimulated IL-11 production by MRC-5 lung fibroblasts. In all cases, dexamethasone caused comparable changes in IL-11 mRNA accumulation. Nuclear run-on studies demonstrated that dexamethasone caused a modest (</=40%) decrease in TGF-beta1-stimulated IL-11 gene transcription. Actinomycin D pulse-chase experiments demonstrated that dexamethasone simultaneously destabilized IL-11 mRNA. Dexamethasone also inhibited TGF-beta1-stimulated IL-11 promoter-driven luciferase activity but did not diminish activator protein-1 binding to IL-11 promoter sequences. Glucocorticoids inhibit lung cell IL-11 production via a complex mechanism that involves the inhibition of IL-11 gene transcription and the destabilization of IL-11 mRNA.

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