Estrogens Modulate IL-6 Production by Cultured Normal and Pathological Human Thymic Epithelial Cells

  • A. P. Riviera
  • F. Scuderi
  • C. Provenzano
  • M. P. Marino
  • S. Gallucci
  • E. Bartoccioni
  • F. O. Ranelletti
  • G. Tridente

Abstract

Interleukin-6 (IL-6) is a multifunctional cytokine, which regulates the immune response by polyclonal B cell activation and differentiation; it enhances peripheral T lymphocyte responses, thymocyte growth and induction of cytotoxic T cell differentiation [1]. Many clinical and experimental observations suggest that IL-6 could be involved in pathogenetic processes; in fact, elevated levels of IL-6 have been detected during autoimmune diseases, infections, and tissue injury. It has been shown that cultured human thymic epithelial cells (TECs) are able to secrete IL-6 both constitutively and after stimulation with interleukin-1ß (IL-1ß) and/or LPS [2]. Some authors have suggested that TEC IL-6 production may be related to the thymic abnormalities found with a high frequency in Myasthenia Gravis (MG) [3]. Thymoma is found in about 10% of the MG patients, while hyperplastic thymus is often observed in MG female patients with young-age at onset. The thymus has estrogen receptors [4]; these steroids modulate IL-6 production in different tissues, such as bone marrow-derived stromal cells, osteoblasts and blood mononuclear cells in vitro [5, 6, 7] and are able to increase secretion of thymic hormones by TECs in vitro [8].

Keywords

Estrogen Receptor Normal Thymus Thymic Hormone Thymic Abnormality Estrogen Binding Site 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1997

Authors and Affiliations

  • A. P. Riviera
    • 1
  • F. Scuderi
    • 2
  • C. Provenzano
    • 2
  • M. P. Marino
    • 2
  • S. Gallucci
    • 2
  • E. Bartoccioni
    • 2
  • F. O. Ranelletti
    • 3
  • G. Tridente
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute of Immunology and Infectious DiseasesUniversity of VeronaVeronaItaly
  2. 2.Institute of General PathologyCatholic UniversityRomeItaly
  3. 3.Department of HistologyCatholic UniversityRomeItaly

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