IL-6 inhibits the proliferation of fibroblastic synovial cells from rheumatoid arthritis patients in the presence of soluble IL-6 receptor
IL-6 and tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α have been proven to play an important role in the development of rheumatoid arthritis (RA). It is well known that TNF-α induces IL-6 production from synovial cells as well as their proliferation. The effect of IL-6 on synovial cells, however, is not clear. An in vitro study was performed to determine the effect of IL-6 on the proliferation of synovial cells. Fibroblastic synovial cells isolated from the synovial tissues of eight RA patients were employed
... ter the third to sixth passages. IL-6 in the presence of soluble IL-6 receptor (sIL-6R) inhibited the proliferation of synovial cells in a dose-dependent manner in seven cases without increasing the number of necrotic or apoptotic cells, while TNF-α increased synovial cell proliferation in all cases. The inhibitory effect of IL-6 was observed only in the presence of sIL-6R although small amounts of IL-6R were detected in these cells by RT-PCR analysis. However, anti-IL-6R or anti-gp130 mAb treatment increased spontaneous growth of synovial cells in all eight cases, suggesting that endogenous IL-6 and a small amount of IL-6R expressed in synovial cells suppressed their growth without exogenous IL-6 or sIL-6R. In addition, the IL-6-sIL-6R complex reduced the TNF-α-induced proliferation of synovial cells while TNF-α induced their IL-6 production. These data suggest that IL-6 may act as a negative feedback factor for TNF-α-induced synovial cell growth.