Lipopolysaccharide-induced interleukin-6 production is controlled by glycogen synthase kinase-3 and STAT3 in the brain

Eléonore Beurel, Richard S. Jope

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

142 Scopus citations


Background: Septic shock is a prevalent condition that, when not lethal, often causes disturbances in cognition, mood, and behavior, particularly due to central actions of the inflammatory cytokine interleukin-6 (IL-6). To identify potential targets to control brain IL-6, we tested if IL-6 produced by glia is regulated by signal transducer and activator of transcription-3 (STAT3) and glycogen synthase kinase-3 (GSK3). Methods: Lipopolysaccharide (LPS) was used to induce inflammatory responses in mice or cultured primary glia. IL-6 was measured by ELISA and other inflammatory molecules were measured using an array. Results: Mouse brain IL-6 levels increased after central, as well as peripheral, LPS administration, consistent with glia producing a portion of brain IL-6. STAT3 in the brain was activated after peripheral or central LPS administration, and in LPS-stimulated cultured primary glia. Inhibition of STAT3 expression, function, or activation reduced by ∼80% IL-6 production by primary glia, demonstrating the dependence on active STAT3. GSK3 promotes STAT3 activation, and array analysis of inflammatory molecules produced by LPS-stimulated primary glia demonstrated that IL-6 was the cytokine most diminished (>90%) by GSK3 inhibition. Inhibition of GSK3, and knockdown of GSK3β, not GSK3α, greatly inhibited IL-6 production by LPS-stimulated primary glia. Conversely, expression of active STAT3 and active GSK3 promoted IL-6 production. In vivo inhibition of GSK3 reduced serum and brain IL-6 levels, brain STAT3 activation, and GFAP upregulation following LPS administration. Conclusion: STAT3 and GSK3 cooperatively promote neuroinflammation, providing novel targets for anti-inflammatory intervention.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number9
JournalJournal of Neuroinflammation
StatePublished - Mar 11 2009
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Immunology
  • Neurology
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience


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