Essential role of neutrophil mobilization in concanavalin A-induced hepatitis is based on classic IL-6 signaling but not on IL-6 trans-signaling.

Sven Malchow, Wolfgang Thaiss, Nathalie Jänner, Georg H Waetzig, Jessica Gewiese-Rabsch, Christoph Garbers, Kosuke Yamamoto, Stefan Rose-John, Jürgen Scheller
Year of publication:
Journal title abbreviated:
Biochim. Biophys. Acta
Journal title long:
Biochimica et biophysica acta
Neutrophil depleted mice are protected from concanavalin A-mediated hepatitis, showing that neutrophils are critical for cellular liver damage. Interleukin-6 has pro- and anti-inflammatory properties and mediates neutrophil recruitment in diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis. In classic signaling, interleukin-6 binds to the membrane-bound interleukin-6-receptor and initiates signaling via gp130. In interleukin-6 trans-signaling, the agonistic soluble interleukin-6-receptor can form a soluble interleukin-6/interleukin-6-receptor complex and stimulate cells which only express gp130 but no interleukin-6-receptor. Interleukin-6 trans-signaling was shown to be important for liver regeneration and development of liver adenomas. Here, we show that blocking classic interleukin-6 signaling but not interleukin-6 trans-signaling reduced concanavalin A-induced liver damage in mice, with reduced liver STAT3 phosphorylation and liver neutrophil accumulation. However, the level of neutrophil-attracting chemokine KC is only reduced by inhibition of interleukin-6 trans-signaling. Analysis of circulating neutrophils after concanavalin A challenge revealed that classic interleukin-6 signaling is required for the mobilization of blood neutrophils. Reduced neutrophil infiltration was accompanied by increased levels of hepatoprotective monocyte chemoattractant protein-1 and reduced level of hepatodestructive interleukin-4. Abrogated classic interleukin-6 signaling in concanavalin A-mediated hepatitis exhibited liver-protective effects indicating that interleukin-6 classic but not interleukin-6 trans-signaling is responsible for liver damage. Classic interleukin-6 signaling is required to mount an efficient neutrophilia during concanavalin A-induced immune response, which might have clinical implications in the regard that blocking global interleukin-6 signaling pathways is a treatment option in different chronic inflammatory diseases.