Interleukin-1-induced interleukin-6 synthesis is mediated by the neutral sphingomyelinase/Src kinase pathway in neurones

N. Tsakiri, I. Kimber, N. J. Rothwell, E. Pinteaux

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background and purpose: Interleukin (IL)-1 is a key mediator of inflammatory and host defence responses and its effects in the brain are mediated primarily via effects on glia. IL-1 induces release of inflammatory mediators such as IL-6 from glia via the type-1 receptor (IL-1R1) and established signalling mechanisms including mitogen-activated protein kinases and nuclear factor kappa-B. IL-1 also modifies physiological functions via actions on neurones, through activation of the neutral sphingomyelinase (nSMase)/Src kinase signalling pathway, although the mechanism of IL-1-induced IL-6 synthesis in neurones remains unknown. Experimental approach: Primary mouse neuronal cell cultures, ELISA, Western blot and immunocytochemistry techniques were used. Key results: We show here that IL-1β induces the synthesis of IL-6 in primary mouse neuronal cultures, and this is dependent on the activation of IL-1R1, nSMase and Src kinase. We demonstrate that IL-1β-induced Src kinase activation triggers the phosphorylation of the NMDA receptor NR2B subunit, leading to activation of Ca 2+/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase II (CamKII) and the nuclear transcription factor CREB. We also show that NR2B, CamKII and CREB are essential signalling elements involved in IL-1β-induced IL-6 synthesis in neurones. Conclusions and implications: These results demonstrate that IL-1 interacts with the same receptors on neurones and glia to elicit IL-6 release, but does so via distinct signalling pathways. The mechanism by which IL-1β induces IL-6 synthesis in neurones could be critical in both physiological and pathophysiological actions of IL-1β, and may provide a new therapeutic target for the treatment of acute CNS injury. © 2008 Nature Publishing Group All rights reserved.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)775-783
Number of pages8
JournalBritish Journal of Pharmacology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2008


  • CREB
  • Interleukin-1
  • Neurones
  • Signalling
  • Src kinase


Dive into the research topics of 'Interleukin-1-induced interleukin-6 synthesis is mediated by the neutral sphingomyelinase/Src kinase pathway in neurones'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this