Interleukin 6 promotes vasculogenesis of murine brain microvessel endothelial cells

Cytokine. 2000 Jun;12(6):655-65. doi: 10.1006/cyto.1999.0599.


Interleukin 6 (IL-6) is a cytokine that acts on a wide range of tissues influencing cell growth and differentiation. Here we show that IL-6 plays a role in the early vascular development (vasculogenesis) in the central nervous system (CNS). We report that IL-6 induces the proliferation of brain microvascular endothelial cells in vitro. Furthermore, IL-6 significantly accelerates the formation of tube-like structures by these cells in Matrigel basement matrix. Moreover, IL-6 mRNA is expressed in vivo in two physiological conditions in which vascularization in the CNS is important: (1) during normal brain development, (2) during the healing process of a traumatic brain injury. Expression of IL-6 mRNA coincides with the expression of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) mRNA in the developing brain with decreasing expression following birth. However, IL-6 mRNA can be detected in the healing adult murine brain tissue by in situ hybridization coinciding with the period of intense tissue reorganization. The transient upregulation of IL-6 mRNA during normal brain development and at brain injury site and the effect of IL-6 on in vitro vasculogenesis suggest that IL-6 may play a role in normal physiology of vascularization in the CNS.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Aging
  • Animals
  • Basement Membrane
  • Brain / blood supply*
  • Brain / embryology
  • Brain / growth & development
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Cerebrovascular Circulation*
  • Collagen
  • Drug Combinations
  • Embryonic and Fetal Development
  • Endothelial Growth Factors / genetics
  • Endothelium, Vascular / physiology*
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Developmental*
  • Interleukin-6 / genetics*
  • Interleukin-6 / physiology
  • Laminin
  • Lymphokines / genetics
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred BALB C
  • Microcirculation / physiology*
  • Neovascularization, Physiologic / physiology*
  • Proteoglycans
  • Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Transcription, Genetic
  • Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor A
  • Vascular Endothelial Growth Factors


  • Drug Combinations
  • Endothelial Growth Factors
  • Interleukin-6
  • Laminin
  • Lymphokines
  • Proteoglycans
  • Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor A
  • Vascular Endothelial Growth Factors
  • matrigel
  • Collagen