IL-6-deficient transgenic mice (IL-6 KO) display significantly delayed cutaneous wound healing. To further elucidate the role of IL-6 in skin wound healing, epidermal keratinocyte and dermal fibroblast cells were isolated from neonatal IL-6 KO mice and treated with rmIL-6. It was found that rmIL-6 alone did not significantly modulate the proliferation or migration of cultured IL-6 KO keratinocytes. rmIL-6, however, significantly induced the migration of IL-6 KO keratinocytes (up to 5-fold) when co-cultured with dermal fibroblasts. Culture supernatants from IL-6-treated fibroblasts were also found to induce the migration of keratinocytes to a similar degree. Genomics analysis of treated fibroblasts indicated that rmIL-6 does not induce any known soluble keratinocyte migratory factors. rmIL-6 treatment of fibroblast, however, induced a rapid and sustained phosphorylation of STAT3 protein. These data indicate that IL-6 could influence wound healing by inducing keratinocyte migration through the production of a soluble fibroblast-derived factor, and its activity may be associated with STAT3 activation.
- Wound healinq