Document Type


Publication Date



School of Medicine


Microbiology, Immunology, and Cell Biology


In many diseases, misfolded proteins accumulate within the endoplasmic reticulum (ER), leading to ER stress. In response, the cell initiates the unfolded protein response (UPR) to reestablish homeostasis. Additionally, in response to ER stress, various cell types mount an inflammatory response involving interleukin (IL)-6. While IL-6 has been widely studied, the impact of ER stress on other members of the IL-6 cytokine family, including oncostatin (OSM), IL-11, ciliary neurotrophic factor (CNTF), and leukemia inhibitor factor (LIF) remains to be elucidated. Here, we have examined the expression of the IL-6 family cytokines in response to pharmacologically-induced ER stress in astrocytes and macrophages, which express IL-6 in response to ER stress through different mechanisms. Our findings indicate that, in astrocytes, ER stress regulates mRNA expression of the IL-6 family of cytokines that is, in part, mediated by PKR-like ER kinase (PERK) and Janus kinase (JAK) 1. Additionally, in astrocytes, CNTF expression was suppressed through a PERK-dependent mechanism. Macrophages display a different profile of expression of the IL-6 family that is largely independent of PERK. However, IL-6 expression in macrophages was dependent on JAK signaling. Overall, this study demonstrates the cell-specific and differential mechanisms controlling expression of the IL-6 family of cytokines in response to ER stress.

Source Citation

Sanchez, C. L., Sims, S. G., Nowery, J. D., & Meares, G. P. (2019). Endoplasmic reticulum stress differentially modulates the IL-6 family of cytokines in murine astrocytes and macrophages. Scientific Reports, 9(1).


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