Human recombinant interleukin-4 induces proliferation and interleukin-6 production by cultured human skin fibroblasts

Clin Immunol Immunopathol. 1992 May;63(2):182-7. doi: 10.1016/0090-1229(92)90011-c.


The effect of human recombinant interleukin-4 (hrIL-4) on normal human adult dermal fibroblasts in terms of proliferation and IL-6 production was studied. Fibroblasts were exposed to different concentrations of IL-4 for various periods of time. Proliferation was measured using a [3H]thymidine incorporation assay. IL-6 production was measured at the transcriptional, protein, and functional levels by Northern blot analysis, radioimmunoassay, and B9 bioassay, respectively. Our results show that hrIL-4 significantly stimulated (two- to fivefold) fibroblasts to increase the incorporation of [3H]thymidine in a dose- and time-dependent manner. However, hrIL-1, hrIL-2, hrIL-5, or hrTNF alpha, at the same concentration (100 U/ml) and for the same time period (4 days), did not. In addition, IL-4 significantly induced (four- to eightfold) the production of immunoreactive and biologically functional IL-6. However, IL-4 was not as potent an inducer of IL-6 as IL-1. The IL-4-induced IL-6 production was dose and time dependent and was due, at least in part, to a dramatic increase in the steady-state levels of IL-6 mRNA. This is the first report describing the ability of IL-4 to activate human dermal fibroblasts in terms of proliferation and IL-6 production.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Cell Division / drug effects
  • Female
  • Fibroblasts / cytology*
  • Fibroblasts / metabolism*
  • Gene Expression / drug effects
  • Humans
  • Interleukin-4 / pharmacology*
  • Interleukin-6 / biosynthesis*
  • Interleukin-6 / genetics
  • Kinetics
  • Recombinant Proteins / pharmacology


  • Interleukin-6
  • Recombinant Proteins
  • Interleukin-4