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Mediators of Inflammation
Volume 3 (1994), Issue 5, Pages 375-380

FK506 and Cyclosporin A Enhance IL-6 Production in Monocytes: A single-Cell Assay

1Third Department of Internal Medicine, Gunma University School of Medicine, Japan
2Division of Blood Transfusion, Gunma University School of Medicine, Japan
3College of Medical Care and Technology, Gunma University, Gunma, Maebashi, Japan

Copyright © 1994 Hindawi Publishing Corporation. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The effect of FK506 and cyclosporin A (CsA) on the production of interleukin 6 (IL-6) in adherent monocytes was studied at a single-cell level by the avidinbiotin- peroxidase complex methods. The percentage of IL-6-producing monocytes increased when stimulated with lipopolysaccharide (LPS) at concentrations between 10 ng/ml and 10 μg/ml, in a dose dependent manner. Both FK506 and CsA enhanced the percentage of IL-6- producing monocytes stimulated with 100 pg/ml-1 μg/ml of LPS up to values near those obtained with 10 μg/ml of LPS. The enhancement by FK506 and CsA was not seen when monocytes were stimulated with a high concentration of LPS (10 μg/ml). When monocytes were stimulated with a low concentration of LPS (10 ng/ml), FK506 and CsA enhanced IL-6 production in a dose dependent manner, at a drug concentration of 0.12 nM–1.2 μM (0.1–1 000 ng/ml) for FK506 and 0.83 nM–8.3 μM (1–10 000 ng/ml) for CsA. The optimal effect of FK506 was achieved at a concentration 7-fold lower than that of CsA. In contrast, production of turnout necrosis factor-α (TNFα and interleukin 1β (IL-1β) was slightly suppressed by FK506 and CsA at the concentrations tested. Moreover, pretreatment of monocytes with FK506 and CsA had a significant enhancing effect on LPS-induced IL-6 production, while treatment with FK506 or CsA after LPS stimulation had no effects on IL-6 production, suggesting that the enhancing effect of each drug is exerted before LPS stimulation or at an early stage of the post-receptor pathway after LPS stimulation. These experiments demonstrate that FK506 and CsA can selectively enhance IL-6 production in monocytes under certain conditions in vitro and, possibly, also in vivo.