Diabetes confers an increased propensity to atherosclerosis. Inflammation is pivotal in atherogenesis, and diabetes is a proinflammatory state. Interleukin (IL)-6, in addition to inducing the acute-phase response, contributes to insulin resistance. Monocytes from type 2 diabetic patients secrete increased IL-6. The aim of this study was to examine molecular mechanisms for increased IL-6 release from monocytes under hyperglycemia. Monocytic cells (THP-1) were cultured in the presence of 5.5 mmol/l (normal) or 15 mmol/l (high) glucose and mannitol. Secreted IL-6, intracellular IL-6, and IL-6 mRNA were significantly increased with hyperglycemia (P < 0.001). Incubation of cells with inhibitors of reactive oxygen species failed to affect high-glucose-induced IL-6 release. Pan-protein kinase C (PKC) inhibitors significantly decreased high-glucose-induced IL-6 release. A specific inhibitor of p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK; SB 202190), but not the extracellular signal-regulated kinase inhibitor PD98059, significantly decreased high-glucose-induced IL-6 release. Furthermore, the PKC-α/β2 inhibitor decreased p38MAPK and the resulting high-glucose-induced IL-6 release. Both antisense oligos to PKC-β and -α as well as small interfering RNA (siRNA) to PKC-α and -β resulted in significantly decreased high-glucose-induced IL-6 release. Nuclear factor-κB (NF-κB) inhibitors significantly decreased IL-6 mRNA and protein. siRNA to PKC-β and -α also significantly decreased NF-κB activity and IL-6 release. The combination was not additive to either siRNA alone, suggesting that they work through a common pathway. Thus, IL-6 release from monocytes under hyperglycemia appears to be mediated via upregulation of PKC, through p38MAPK and NF-κB, resulting in increased mRNA and protein for IL-6. Thus, inhibition of PKC-α and -β can ameliorate the proinflammatory state of diabetes.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Internal Medicine
- Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism