Mucosal and enterocyte IL-6 production during sepsis and endotoxemia - Role of transcription factors and regulation by the stress response

Timothy Pritts, Eric Hungness, Quan Wang, Bruce Robb, Dan Hershko, Per Olof Hasselgren

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

54 Scopus citations


Background: Sepsis and endotoxemia are associated with increased production of interleukin-6 (IL-6) in gut mucosa. Mucosal IL-6 may regulate enterocyte acute phase protein synthesis and intestinal IgA production. In addition, increased IL-6 has been proposed to be a mechanism of loss of mucosal integrity in critical illness. The purpose of this review is to describe current knowledge of the regulation of IL-6 production in the enterocyte/mucosa during inflammation caused by sepsis and endotoxemia. Data sources: Recent publications describing the influence of sepsis, endotoxemia, and proinflammatory cytokines on mucosal/enterocyte IL-6 production. Conclusions: IL-6 production is increased in gut mucosa during sepsis and endotoxemia and in cultured enterocytes after treatment with endotoxin or proinflammatory cytokines. The IL-6 gene is regulated by multiple transcription factors, including NF-κB, AP-1, and C/EBP. Because of the multiple important biological roles of IL-6, understanding the cellular and molecular mechanisms of mucosal/enterocyte IL-6 production as well as methods to modulate IL-6 production is of clinical importance in the setting of sepsis and other critical illness.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)372-383
Number of pages12
JournalAmerican Journal of Surgery
Issue number4
StatePublished - May 7 2002



  • Cytokines
  • Enterocytes
  • Heat shock response
  • Inflammation
  • Mucosa
  • NF-κB

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery

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