Interleukin-6 is the major regulator of acute phase protein synthesis in adult human hepatocytes

FEBS Lett. 1989 Jan 2;242(2):237-9. doi: 10.1016/0014-5793(89)80476-4.


The three monokines interleukin-1 beta (IL-1 beta), tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF alpha), and interleukin-6 (IL-6) modulate acute phase plasma protein synthesis in adult human hepatocytes. Only IL-6 stimulates the synthesis of the full spectrum of acute phase proteins as seen in inflammatory states in humans, i.e. synthesis and secretion of C-reactive protein, serum amyloid A, fibrinogen, alpha 1-antitrypsin, alpha 1-antichymotrypsin and haptoglobin are increased while albumin, transferrin and fibronectin are decreased. IL-1 beta as well as TNF alpha, although having a moderate effect on the positive acute phase proteins and inhibiting the synthesis of fibrinogen, albumin and transferrin, fail to induce serum amyloid A and C-reactive protein. These data suggest that IL-6 plays the key role in the regulation of acute phase protein synthesis in human hepatocytes.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Acute-Phase Proteins / biosynthesis*
  • Acute-Phase Reaction*
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Fibrinogen / biosynthesis
  • Humans
  • Inflammation*
  • Interleukin-1 / pharmacology
  • Interleukin-6
  • Interleukins / physiology*
  • Liver / physiology*
  • Recombinant Proteins
  • Tumor Cells, Cultured
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha / pharmacology


  • Acute-Phase Proteins
  • Interleukin-1
  • Interleukin-6
  • Interleukins
  • Recombinant Proteins
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha
  • Fibrinogen