Clinical and laboratory studies indicate that thrombopoietin (TPO) gene expression increases during inflammation. To clarify the role of interleukin 6 (IL-6) in this process, blood cell counts, plasma TPO concentrations, and hepatic and renal TPO mRNA levels were investigated in wild-type and IL-6 knockout mice, with sterile abscesses produced by subcutaneous injection of turpentine oil. Treatment did not cause a change in blood cell counts during the 72 h period of observation. The numbers of thrombocytes and erythrocytes were slightly lower in the IL-6 knockout mice than in the wild-type littermates under all conditions. Plasma IL-6 and TPO concentrations increased on turpentine injection only in the wild-type mice. In addition, turpentine treatment of these caused an increase in hepatic TPO mRNA levels as assessed by competitive polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) and real-time PCR, whereas renal TPO mRNA levels were unaltered. TPO mRNA levels did not increase in the livers of IL-6 knockout mice on turpentine treatment. These results support the concept that TPO behaves like an acute-phase protein in that its synthesis is induced by IL-6 in the liver.
Research Areas and Centers
- Academic Focus: Center for Brain, Behavior and Metabolism (CBBM)