Interleukin-6 release by rat liver macrophages

J Hepatol. 1990 Nov;11(3):367-73. doi: 10.1016/0168-8278(90)90223-e.


Tissue macrophages of the liver (Kupffer cells) release interleukin-6 (IL-6) in vitro. Since Kupffer cells reside in close proximity to hepatocytes, which are major target cells of IL-6, the regulation of IL-6 release by hepatic macrophages has been investigated in this study. Using the hybridoma growth test to detect IL-6, we found that Kupffer cells already maximally release IL-6 at endotoxin concentrations as low as 1.0 ng/ml. The stimulated secretion of IL-6 was increased 4-8-fold by endotoxin when compared to the control macrophages incubated in serum-containing medium alone. The preincubation of macrophages with interferon-gamma enhanced the capacity of Kupffer cells to respond to endotoxin. The secretion of IL-6 could also be induced by interleukin (IL)-1 beta and tumor necrosis factor (TNF-alpha). The most potent inducers, however, were the paramyxoviruses Newcastle Disease Virus and Sendai Virus. The release of IL-6 by macrophages upon stimulation with endotoxin was almost completely inhibited by 1 microM dexamethasone. Whereas 100 nM of prostaglandin E2 (PGE2) inhibited the release of TNF-alpha in rat Kupffer cells, it did not affect the secretion of IL-6.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Dexamethasone / pharmacology
  • Dinoprostone / pharmacology
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Endotoxins / pharmacology
  • Interleukin-6 / metabolism*
  • Kupffer Cells / drug effects
  • Kupffer Cells / metabolism
  • Liver / cytology*
  • Macrophages / drug effects
  • Macrophages / metabolism*
  • Male
  • Rats
  • Rats, Inbred Strains


  • Endotoxins
  • Interleukin-6
  • Dexamethasone
  • Dinoprostone