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Mediators of Inflammation
Volume 11, Issue 5, Pages 313-319

Differential expression and upregulation of interleukin-1α, interleukin-1β and interleukin-6 by freshly isolated human small intestinal epithelial cells

1Education and Research Centre, St Vincent’s University Hospital, Dublin, Ireland
2Institute of Immunology, Biology Department, NUI Maynooth, Maynooth, Co. Kildare, Ireland
3Department of Gastroenterology, St Vincent’s University Hospital, Dublin, Ireland
4Department of Immunology, St James’s Hospital, Dublin 8, Ireland
5Institute of Immunology, Biology Department, National University of Ireland Maynooth, Maynooth, Co. Kildare, Ireland

Copyright © 2002 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.


Background: Small intestinal epithelial cells (SIEC) may contribute to local immune regulation.

Aim: To examine production of interleukin (IL)-1α , IL-1β and IL-6 by freshly isolated human SIEC.

Methods: IL-1α and IL-1β mRNA in epithelial layers (EL) prepared from small intestine and in intestinal epithelial cell (EC) lines were examined by reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction. IL-1α, IL-1β and IL-6 protein expression by SIEC was examined by flow cytometry before and after activation with lipopolysaccharide and epithelial growth factor.

Results: IL-1α and IL-1β mRNA was detected in EL and EC lines. Background expression of IL-1α and IL-1β protein by SIEC was observed, which did not increase even following activation. IL-6 protein was expressed by SIEC, in a proportion that increased in two out of three samples following activation.

Conclusions: IL-6 expression and the presence of IL-1α and IL-1β mRNA suggest a role for SIEC in the regulation of local inflammation.