Christoph J. Auernhammer a , Florian B. Kopp a , George Vlotides a , Franziska Dorn a , Nicola B. Isele a , Gerald Spöttl a , Neziha Cengic a , Matthias M. Weber b , Giorgio Senaldi c , Dieter Engelhardt a
09 July 2004
Objective: This comparative in vitro study examined the effects of all known gp130 cytokines on murine corticotroph AtT-20 cell function. Methods: Cytokines were tested at equimolar concentrations from 0.078 to 10 n M. Tyrosine phosphorylation of the signal transducer and activator of transcription (STAT)3 and STAT1, the STAT-dependent suppressor of cytokine signaling (SOCS)-3 promoter activity, SOCS-3 gene expression, STAT-dependent POMC promoter activity and adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) secretion were determined. Results: Leukemia inhibitory factor (LIF), human oncostatin M (OSM) and cardiotrophin (CT)-1 (LIFR/gp130 ligands), as well as ciliary neurotrophic factor (CNTF) and novel neurotrophin-1/B-cell stimulating factor-3 (CNTFRα/LIFR/gp130 ligands) are potent stimuli of corticotroph cells in vitro. In comparison, interleukin (IL)-6 (IL-6R/gp130 ligand) and IL-11 (IL-11R/gp130 ligand) exhibited only modest direct effects on corticotrophs, while murine OSM (OSMR/gp130 ligand) showed no effect. Conclusion: (i) CNTFR complex ligands are potent stimuli of corticotroph function, comparable to LIFR complex ligands; (ii) IL-6 and IL-11 are relatively weak direct stimuli of corticotroph function; (iii) differential effects of human and murine OSM suggest that LIFR/gp130 (OSMR type I) but not OSMR/gp130 (OSMR type II) are involved in corticotroph signaling. (iv) CT-1 has the hitherto unknown ability to stimulate corticotroph function, and (v) despite redundant immuno-neuroendocrine effects of different gp130 cytokines, corticotroph cells are preferably activated through the LIFR and CNTFR complexes.