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Serum amyloid A induces interleukin-6 in dermal fibroblasts via Toll-like receptor 2, interleukin-1 receptor-associated kinase 4 and nuclear factor-kappa B

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Steven O'Reilly, Rachel Cant, Dr Marzena Ciechomska, James Finnigan, Professor Fiona OakleyORCiD, Dr Sophie Hambleton, Professor Jaap Van Laar


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Systemic sclerosis is an autoimmune idiopathic connective tissue disease, characterized by vasculopathy, inflammation and fibrosis. There appears to be a link between inflammation and fibrosis, although the exact nature of the relationship is unknown. Serum amyloid A (SAA) is an acute-phase protein that is elevated up to 1000-fold in times of infection or inflammation. This acute-phase reactant, as well as being a marker of inflammation, may initiate signals in a cytokine-like manner, possibly through toll-like receptors (TLRs) promoting inflammation. This study addressed the role of SAA in initiating interleukin-6 (IL-6) production in dermal fibroblasts and the role of TLR2 in this system. We show that SAA induces IL-6 secretion in healthy dermal fibroblasts and that blockade of TLR2 with a neutralizing antibody to TLR2 or specific small interfering RNA attenuated the SAA-induced IL-6 secretion and that this was also mediated through the TLR adaptor protein IL-1 receptor-associated kinase 4. The effect is nuclear factor-kappa B-mediated because blockade of nuclear factor-kappa B reduced the induction. We also demonstrate that dermal fibroblasts express TLR2; this is functional and over-expressed in the fibroblasts of patients with systemic sclerosis. Taken together these data suggest that SAA is a danger signal that initiates IL-6 signalling in systemic sclerosis via enhanced TLR2 signalling.

Publication metadata

Author(s): O'Reilly S, Cant R, Ciechomska M, Finnigan J, Oakley F, Hambleton S, van Laar JM

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Immunology

Year: 2014

Volume: 143

Issue: 3

Pages: 331-340

Print publication date: 01/11/2014

Online publication date: 02/10/2014

Acceptance date: 24/01/2014

ISSN (print): 0019-2805

ISSN (electronic): 1365-2567

Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell


DOI: 10.1111/imm.12260


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