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LPS-induced release of IL-6 from glia modulates production of IL-1β in a JAK2-dependent manner

Aedín M Minogue*, James P Barrett and Marina A Lynch

Author Affiliations

Trinity College Institute for Neuroscience, Lloyd building, University of Dublin, Trinity College, College Green, Dublin 2, Ireland

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Journal of Neuroinflammation 2012, 9:126  doi:10.1186/1742-2094-9-126

Published: 14 June 2012



Compelling evidence has implicated neuroinflammation in the pathogenesis of a number of neurodegenerative conditions. Chronic activation of both astrocytes and microglia leads to excessive secretion of proinflammatory molecules such as TNFα, IL-6 and IL-1β with potentially deleterious consequences for neuronal viability. Many signaling pathways involving the mitogen-activated protein kinases (MAPKs), nuclear factor κB (NFκB) complex and the Janus kinases (JAKs)/signal transducers and activators of transcription (STAT)-1 have been implicated in the secretion of proinflammatory cytokines from glia. We sought to identify signaling kinases responsible for cytokine production and to delineate the complex interactions which govern time-related responses to lipopolysaccharide (LPS).


We examined the time-related changes in certain signaling events and the release of proinflammatory cytokines from LPS-stimulated co-cultures of astrocytes and microglia isolated from neonatal rats.


TNFα was detected in the supernatant approximately 1 to 2 hours after LPS treatment while IL-1β and IL-6 were detected after 2 to 3 and 4 to 6 hours, respectively. Interestingly, activation of NFκB signaling preceded release of all cytokines while phosphorylation of STAT1 was evident only after 2 hours, indicating that activation of JAK/STAT may be important in the up-regulation of IL-6 production. Additionally, incubation of glia with TNFα induced both phosphorylation of JAK2 and STAT1 and the interaction of JAK2 with the TNFα receptor (TNFR1). Co-treatment of glia with LPS and recombinant IL-6 protein attenuated the LPS-induced release of both TNFα and IL-1β while potentiating the effect of LPS on suppressor of cytokine signaling (SOCS)3 expression and IL-10 release.


These data indicate that TNFα may regulate IL-6 production through activation of JAK/STAT signaling and that the subsequent production of IL-6 may impact on the release of TNFα, IL-1β and IL-10.

Glia; Neuroinflammation; SOCS3; STAT1; TNFR1