AICAR stimulates IL-6 production via p38 MAPK in cardiac fibroblasts in adult mice: a possible role for AMPK

Jian-Hai Du, Ning Xu, Yao Song, Ming Xu, Zhi-Zhen Lu, Chide Han, You-Yi Zhang
Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications 2005 December 2, 337 (4): 1139-44
Though known as a sensor of energy balance, AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) was recently shown to limit damage and apoptotic activity and contribute to the late preconditioning in heart. Interleukin-6 was also reported to involve in anti-apoptosis and cardio-protection in myocardium. Interestingly, both AMPK activity and IL-6 level were increased in response to ischemia, hypertrophy and oxidative stress. To determine whether AMPK activation will promote IL-6 production, cardiac fibroblasts (CFs) from mice were incubated with AMPK activator, 5-aminoimidazole-4-carboxamide-1-4-ribofuranoside (AICAR). The results demonstrated that AICAR time and dose-dependently stimulated IL-6 production by ELISA and immunofluorescence. Pretreatment with p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) inhibitor blocked AICAR-induced IL-6 production; furthermore, AICAR-activated p38 MAPK phosphorylation by Western blot. To confirm that the increase in IL-6 production is ascribed to AMPK activation, we used another known AMPK activator, metformin. It also dose-dependently potentiated IL-6 production in CFs, and this potentiation could be reversed by p38 MAPK inhibitor. In conclusion, AMPK activation promoted IL-6 production in CFs via p38 MAPK-dependent pathway.

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