Biosynthesis of interleukin-6 by cultured human chorion laeve cells: Regulation by cytokines

Donald J. Dudley, Michael S. Trautman, Samuel S. Edwin, Sarah Lundin-Schiller, Murray D. Mitchell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

61 Scopus citations


Intrauterine infection is an important cause of preterm labor and delivery and is characterized by increased production of inflammatory cytokines by gestational tissues. We evaluated the biosynthesis of the inflammatory cytokine interleukin-6 (IL-6) by human chorion laeve cells and its regulation by other cytokines essential to the inflammatory process. We found that cultured chorion cells secrete IL-6 in the presence of growth medium supplemented only with 10% fetal calf serum. IL-1 β, tumor necrosis factor, and lipopolysaccharide all induced a significant concentration-dependent stimulation of IL-6 production by chorion cells. The concentration range of each cytokine tested (0.1-10 ng/mL) is within the range of values found in the amniotic fluid of women destined to deliver preterm due to infection of gestational tissues. Additionally, treatment of chorion cells with IL-1 β in combination with actinomycin-D or cycloheximide attenuated the stimulatory action of IL-1 β on IL-6 production. Northern blot analysis of total RNA from cultured chorion cells stimulated with IL-1 β demonstrated that IL-6 mRNA increases over time. Our data suggest that IL-6 is produced by human fetal chorion in response to infection of maternal gestational tissues. In conjunction with other inflammatory mediators, fetally derived IL-6 may play a role in the pathophysiology of preterm labor due to infection.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1081-1086
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 1992
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Biochemistry
  • Endocrinology
  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Biochemistry, medical


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