Interplay between IFN-γ and IL-6 signaling governs neutrophil trafficking and apoptosis during acute inflammation

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McLoughlin, Rachel M. ; Witowski, Janusz ; Robson, Rachel L. ; Wilkinson, Thomas S. ; Hurst, Suzanne M. ; Williams, Anwen S. ; Williams, John D. ; Rose-John, Stefan ; Jones, Simon A. ; Topley, Nicholas (2003)

Regulated recruitment and clearance of neutrophils (PMN) is the hallmark of competent host defense and resolution of inflammation. We now report that IFN-gamma controls PMN infiltration and modulates IL-6 signaling through its soluble receptor (sIL-6R) to promote their apoptosis and clearance. Induction of peritoneal inflammation in IFN-gamma-deficient (IFN-gamma-/-) mice emphasized that the initial rate of PMN recruitment was impaired. This defect in PMN recruitment was also associated with the suppressed intraperitoneal expression of IL-1beta and IL-6. Reconstitution of IFN-gamma signaling restored the rate of PMN infiltration and IL-6 levels and was accompanied by normalization of PMN-activating CXC chemokine expression. To test whether local IL-6 signaling modulated PMN recruitment, inflammation was induced in IFN-gamma-/- and IL-6-/- mice and cytokine signaling adapted by intraperitoneal sIL-6R-IL-6 fusion protein (HYPER-IL-6) or IFN-gamma. Although HYPER-IL-6 attenuated PMN influx in IFN-gamma-/- mice, IFN-gamma had no effect on PMN infiltration in IL-6-/- mice. Examination of the leukocyte infiltrate from IFN-gamma-/-, IL-6-/-, and wild-type mice showed that apoptosis was aberrant in the absence of IFN-gamma and IL-6 as a result of impaired sIL-6R signaling. These data emphasize a pivotal role for IFN-gamma in regulating innate immunity through control of both the recruitment and clearance phases of PMN trafficking.
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