Inhibition of interleukin-6 on matrix protein production by glomerular mesangial cells and the pathway involved

Sarika Chaudhari, Parisa Yazdizadeh Shotorbani, Yu Tao, Mark E. Davis, Robert T. Mallet, Rong Ma

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11 Scopus citations


Activation of immunological pathways and disturbances of extracellular matrix (ECM) dynamics are important contributors to the pathogenesis of chronic kidney diseases. Glomerular mesangial cells (MCs) are critical for homeostasis of glomerular ECM dynamics. Interleukin-6 (IL-6) can act as a pro/anti-inflammatory agent relative to cell types and conditions. This study investigated whether IL-6 influences ECM protein production by MCs and the regulatory pathways involved. Experiments were carried out in cultured human MCs (HMCs) and in mice. We found that overexpression of IL-6 and its receptor decreased the abundance of fibronectin and collagen type IV in MCs. ELISA and immunoblot analysis demonstrated that thapsigargin [an activator of store-operated Ca2+ entry (SOCE)], but not the endoplasmic reticulum stress inducer tunicamycin, significantly increased IL-6 content. This thapsigargin effect was abolished by GSK-7975A, a selective inhibitor of SOCE, and by silencing Orai1 (the channel protein mediating SOCE). Furthermore, inhibition of NF-κB pharmacologically and genetically significantly reduced SOCE-induced IL-6 production. Thapsigargin also stimulated nuclear translocation of the p65 subunit of NF-κB. Moreover, MCs overexpressing IL-6 and its receptor in HMCs increased the content of the glucagon-like peptide-1 receptor (GLP-1R), and IL-6 inhibition of fibronectin was attenuated by the GLP-1R antagonist exendin 9-39. In agreement with the HMC data, specific knockdown of Orai1 in MCs using the targeted nanoparticle delivery system in mice significantly reduced glomerular GLP-1R levels. Taken together, our results suggest a novel SOCE/NF-κB/IL-6/GLP-1R signaling pathway that inhibits ECM protein production by MCs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)F1478-F1488
JournalAmerican journal of physiology. Renal physiology
Issue number6
StatePublished - 1 Jun 2020


  • Orai1
  • extracellular matrix
  • glucagon-like peptide-1 receptor
  • interleukin-6
  • mesangial cells
  • nuclear factor-κB
  • store-operated calcium entry


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