IL-6 trans-signaling modulates TLR4-dependent inflammatory responses via STAT3 Academic Article uri icon


  • Innate immune responses triggered by the prototypical inflammatory stimulus LPS are mediated by TLR4 and involve the coordinated production of a multitude of inflammatory mediators, especially IL-6, which signals via the shared IL-6 cytokine family receptor subunit gp130. However, the exact role of IL-6, which can elicit either proinflammatory or anti-inflammatory responses, in the pathogenesis of TLR4-driven inflammatory disorders, as well as the identity of signaling pathways activated by IL-6 in a proinflammatory state, remain unclear. To define the contribution of gp130 signaling events to TLR4-driven inflammatory responses, we combined genetic and therapeutic approaches based on a series of gp130(F/F) knock-in mutant mice displaying hyperactivated IL-6-dependent JAK/STAT signaling in an experimental model of LPS/TLR4-mediated septic shock. The gp130(F/F) mice were markedly hypersensitive to LPS, which was associated with the specific upregulated production of IL-6, but not TNF-α. In gp130(F/F) mice, either genetic ablation of IL-6, Ab-mediated inhibition of IL-6R signaling or therapeutic blockade of IL-6 trans-signaling completely protected mice from LPS hypersensitivity. Furthermore, genetic reduction of STAT3 activity in gp130(F/F):Stat3(+/-) mice alleviated LPS hypersensitivity and reduced LPS-induced IL-6 production. Additional genetic approaches demonstrated that the TLR4/Mal pathway contributed to LPS hypersensitivity and increased IL-6 production in gp130(F/F) mice. Collectively, these data demonstrate for the first time, to our knowledge, that IL-6 trans-signaling via STAT3 is a critical modulator of LPS-driven proinflammatory responses through cross-talk regulation of the TLR4/Mal signaling pathway, and potentially implicate cross-talk between JAK/STAT and TLR pathways as a broader mechanism that regulates the severity of the host inflammatory response.


  • Greenhill, CJ
  • Rose-John, S
  • Lissilaa, R
  • Ferlin, W
  • Ernst, M
  • Hertzog, PJ
  • Mansell, A
  • Jenkins, BJ

publication date

  • January 15, 2011

has subject area