Effect of IL-6 on alveolar fibroblast proliferation in interstitial lung diseases

Iris Shahar, Elizabeth Fireman, Marcel Topilsky, Joel Grief, Shmuel Kivity, Zvi Spirer, Shlomo Ben Efraim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Alveolar macrophage-fibroblast interaction may be involved in the pathogenesis of interstitial lung diseases (ILD). Herein, we compared IL-6 secretion from alveolar macrophages (AM) and alveolar fibroblasts (AFb) recovered from patients with sarcoidosis (SA) and with diffuse interstitial fibrosis (DIF). Moreover, we evaluated the effect of IL-6 on the in vitro AFb proliferation in both diseases. AM and AFb from SA patients showed increased spontaneous secretion of IL-6 compared with cells from DIF subjects. Tumor necrosis factor-α (TNFα) and interleukin-1 (IL-1) enhanced IL-6 secretion and IL-6 mRNA transcription in AFb of SA patients. Addition of anti-IL-6 MoAbs increased AFb proliferation capacity in SA, but suppressed it in DIF. These results show that only SA AM and AFb secrete high levels of IL-6 which have suppressive effect on AFb proliferation. This may indicate a potential role of IL-6 in the fibrogenesis of ILD.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)244-251
Number of pages8
JournalClinical Immunology and Immunopathology
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1996
Externally publishedYes


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