Elevated interleukin-6 expression in keloid fibroblasts

Hui Xue, Robert L. McCauley, Wenru Zhang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

88 Scopus citations


Keloids are characterized by a net accumulation of collagen. To date, the role of growth factors and various cytokines in the pathogenesis of these lesions has not been fully characterized. Interleukin-6 (IL-6) is an important immunoregulatory cytokine that has been implicated in a number of fibrotic autoimmune diseases such as scleroderma, interstitial nephritis, and pulmonary interstitial fibrosis. However, the role of IL-6 in the development of keloids has yet to be defined. This study demonstrates increased expression of the IL-6 gene in fibroblasts isolated from patients with keloids when compared with control fibroblasts using the ribonuclease protection assay. Subsequent detection of increased levels of IL-6 secretion by keloid fibroblasts is also demonstrated under unstimulated and stimulated conditions using serum and interferon γ (IFN-γ) (unstimulated: 0.3694 + 0.2499 pg/cell vs 0.0662 + 0.0786 pg/cell, P = 0.0137; serum: 1.066 + 0.513 pg/cell vs 0.233 + 0.231 pg/cell, P = 0.0027; serum and IFN-γ 1.286 + 0.395 pg/cell vs 0.244 + 0.199 pg/cell, P < 0.0001). These results suggest that IL- 6 may play a significant role in the pathogenesis of keloids. (C) 2000 Academic Press.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)74-77
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Surgical Research
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 2000


  • Fibroblasts
  • Interferon γ
  • Interleukin-6
  • Keloids

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery


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