Interleukin-6 production by Schwann cells and induction in sciatic nerve injury

J Neurochem. 1995 Feb;64(2):850-8. doi: 10.1046/j.1471-4159.1995.64020850.x.


Interleukin-6 (IL-6) was produced by the spontaneously immortal Schwann cell clone, iSC, when cocultured with PC12 cells. The iSC cell-derived IL-6 in coculture conditioned media caused the neuronal differentiation of naive PC12 cells and this bioactivity was neutralized by preincubation of conditioned media with antisera to IL-6. Cocultured iSC transcribe IL-6 message as confirmed by northern analysis. Stimuli that induce IL-6 production in the hematopoietic lineage induced transcription and production of IL-6 by iSC cells. Lipopolysaccharide, tumor necrosis factor-alpha, IL-1 alpha, IL-6, and serum withdrawal induced iSC cell IL-6 mRNA. The kinetics of IL-6 production was confirmed in the mouse IL-6-dependent B9 bioassay and that activity could be neutralized with antisera to IL-6. Expression of both the IL-6 receptor and the gp130 signal transduction component by iSC as determined by northern analysis suggests an autocrine regulatory mechanism. The observed iSC production of IL-6 in vitro led to an investigation of the sciatic nerve crush model of Schwann cell activation in vivo. In the initial 12 h after crush injury, IL-6 message is induced. IL-6 mRNA expression was highest distal to the crush injury. Our in vitro data demonstrate that iSC cells produce IL-6 in response to PC12 cell coculture and to stimuli that induce IL-6 production in the hematopoietic lineage. The induction of IL-6 message distal to a crush injury suggests another mechanism by which Schwann cells facilitate peripheral nerve regeneration.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antigens, CD*
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Cytokine Receptor gp130
  • Cytokines / pharmacology
  • Cytological Techniques
  • Interleukin-6 / biosynthesis*
  • Membrane Glycoproteins / genetics
  • Nerve Crush
  • PC12 Cells
  • RNA, Messenger / metabolism
  • Rats
  • Receptors, Interleukin / genetics
  • Receptors, Interleukin / metabolism
  • Receptors, Interleukin-6
  • Schwann Cells / metabolism*
  • Sciatic Nerve / injuries*
  • Sciatic Nerve / metabolism
  • Signal Transduction
  • Wounds, Nonpenetrating / metabolism*


  • Antigens, CD
  • Cytokines
  • Il6st protein, rat
  • Interleukin-6
  • Membrane Glycoproteins
  • RNA, Messenger
  • Receptors, Interleukin
  • Receptors, Interleukin-6
  • Cytokine Receptor gp130