Role of IL-6 in systemic angiogenesis of the lung

Jessica Y. McClintock, Elizabeth M. Wagner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The multifunctional cytokine interleukin (IL)-6 has been shown to modulate inflammation and angiogenesis. In a mouse model of lung angiogenesis induced by chronic left pulmonary artery ligation (LPAL), we previously showed increased expression of IL-6 mRNA in lung homogenates 4 h after the onset of pulmonary ischemia (31). To determine whether IL-6 influences both new vessel growth and inflammatory cell influx, we studied wild-type (WT) and IL-6-deficient C57B1/6J (KO) mice after LPAL (4 h and 1, 7, 14 days). We measured IL-6 protein of the lung by ELISA, the lavage cell profile of the left lung, and new systemic vessel growth with radiolabeled microspheres (14 days after LPAL) in WT and KO mice. We confirmed a 2.4-fold increase in IL-6 protein in the left lung of WT mice compared with right lung 4 h after LPAL. A significant increase in lavaged neutrophils (7.5% of total cells) was observed only in WT mice 4 h after LPAL. New vessel growth was significantly attenuated in KO relative to WT (0.7 vs. 1.9% cardiac output). In an additional series, treatment of WT mice with anti-neutrophil antibody demonstrated a reduction in lavaged neutrophils 4 h after LPAL; however, IL-6 protein remained elevated and neovascularization to the left lung (2.3% cardiac output) was not altered. These results demonstrate that IL-6 plays an important modulatory role in lung angiogenesis, but the changes are not dependent on trapped neutrophils.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)861-866
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of applied physiology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 2005


  • Interleukin-6
  • Neovascularization
  • Neutrophils
  • Pulmonary ischemia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Physiology (medical)


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