Interleukin-6 and neural stem cells : more than gliogenesis
Gong, Xian Di
Date of Issue2009
School of Biological Sciences
Besides its wide range of action as a proinflammatory cytokine in the immune system, interleukin-6 (IL-6) has also attracted much attention due to its influence on the nervous system. In the present study we show that the designer fusion protein H-IL-6, consisting of IL-6 and its specific receptor IL-6R-α, but not IL-6 alone, mediates both neuro- as well as gliogenesis. Using immunocytochemistry, Western blot, and patch-clamp recording, we demonstrate that H-IL-6 induces the differentiation of neural stem cells (NSCs) specifically into glutamate-responsive neurons and two morphological distinctive astroglia cell types. H-IL-6–activated neurogenesis seems to be induced by the MAPK/CREB (mitogenactivated protein kinase/cAMP response element-binding protein) cascade, whereas gliogenesis is mediated via the STAT-3 (signal transducers and activators of transcription protein-3) signaling pathway. Our finding that IL-6 mediates both processes depending on its specific soluble receptor sIL-6R-α has implications for the potential treatment of neurodegenerative diseases.
Molecular biology of the cell
This paper was published by Molecular biology of the cell, American Society for Cell Biology. The officially published version can be found at the following URL: [http://www.molbiolcell.org/cgi/doi/10.1091/mbc.E08-05-0463]. Systematic or multiple reproduction or distribution to multiple locations via electronic or other means is prohibited and is subject to penalties under law.