Monocyte cytokine synthesis in response to extracellular cell stress proteins suggests these proteins exhibit network behaviour

Frank Kaiser*, Andrew Steptoe, Stephen Thompson, Brian Henderson

*Corresponding author for this work
8 Citations (Scopus)


Human peripheral blood monocytes were exposed to single or pairs of cell stress proteins (CSPs), specifically Hsp10, Hsp27, Hsp60 and Hsp70 - the former two having anti-inflammatory actions while the latter pair being assumed to be pro-inflammatory in activity. This study was to test if these proteins exhibited any network behaviour. To control for possible lipopolysaccharide contamination, polymyxin B was used. Surprisingly, at concentrations higher than 1 μg/ml, polymyxin B itself could induce cytokine synthesis. A number of commercial sources of the molecular chaperones were tested, and marked variations in monocyte cytokine synthesis were found. All four CSPs stimulated the same profile of IL-1/IL-6 synthesis and IL-10/TNF-α synthesis although the kinetics of production of these two pairs of cytokines were very different. A key question was whether extracellular molecular chaperones exhibited network behaviour. To test this, monocytes were cultured with suboptimal concentrations of single CSP and pairs of CSP to look for additive, synergistic or antagonistic cell responses. The major finding was that pairs of molecular chaperones, including chaperones thought to stimulate monocyte cytokine synthesis, could produce significant antagonistic cellular responses. This demonstrates that extracellular CSPs constitute an additional potent layer within the complex cytokine network and furthermore suggests that monocytes have evolved to dampen their immune responses upon exposure to extracellular networks of CSPs - perhaps as a mechanism for protecting cells against detrimental cellular stress responses.

Original languageEnglish
JournalCell Stress and Chaperones
Issue number1
Pages (from-to)135-144
Number of pages10
Publication statusPublished - 01.2014

Research Areas and Centers

  • Research Area: Medical Genetics


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