IL-6 mediates the susceptibility of glycoprotein 130 hypermorphs to Toxoplasma gondii

Jonathan S. Silver, Jason S Stumhofer, Sara Passos, Matthias Ernst, Christopher A Hunter

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

27 Citations (Scopus)


IL-6 and IL-27 are closely related cytokines that play critical but distinct roles during infection with Toxoplasma gondii. Thus, IL-6 is required for the development of protective immunity to this pathogen, whereas IL-27 is required to limit infection-induced pathology. Paradoxically, these factors both signal through gp130, but little is known about how the signals downstream of gp130 are integrated to coordinate the immune response to infection. To better understand these events, gp130 Y757F mice that have a mutation in gp130 at the binding site for suppressor of cytokine signaling 3, a critical negative regulator of gp130 signaling, were infected with T. gondii. These mutant mice were acutely susceptible to this challenge, characterized by an early defect in the production of IL-12 and IFN-γ and increased parasite burdens. Consistent with the reduced IL-12 levels, IL-6, but not other gp130 cytokines, was a potent antagonist of IL-12 production by gp130 Y757F macrophages and dendritic cells in vitro. Moreover, in gp130 Y757F mice, blocking IL-6 in vivo, or administration of rIL-12, during infection restored IFN-γ production and protective immunity. Collectively, these studies highlight that a failure to abbreviate IL-6-mediated gp130 signaling results in a profound anti-inflammatory signal that blocks the generation of protective immunity to T. gondii.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)350-360
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Immunology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2011
Externally publishedYes

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