Increased interleukin 6 production by T cells derived from patients with atopic dermatitis

Akito Toshitani, John C. Ansel, Sai C. Chan, Shi Hua Li, Jon M. Hanifin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

71 Scopus citations


Many immunologic aspects of atopic dermatitis have been studied, but basic pathobiologic mechanisms of this disease remain unknown. In this study, we measured the production of interleukin-6 (IL-6) by peripheral blood T cells and monocytes from patients with atopic dermatitis in comparison to normal control subjects and patients with chronic psoriasis. We found that peripheral blood T cells isolated from patients with atopic dermatitis produced significantly higher levels of IL-6 (36.1 ± 5.1 units/ml, n = 22) than T cells derived from either normal subjects (12.6 ± 1.9 units/ml, n = 22) or patients with chronic psoriasis (26.7 ± 4.1 units/ml, n = 7). T-cell activation was also measured in the patients with atopic dermatitis by soluble serum IL-2 receptor levels and were found to be significantly higher (623.7 ± 8.1 units/ml, n = 8) than normal subjects (357.2 ± 26.0 units/ml, n = 8). In contrast to the increased production of IL-6 by T cells in atopic dermatitis, there was no significant difference in the IL-6 production by peripheral blood monocytes derived from patients with atopic dermatitis compared to normal subjects. Thus, peripheral blood T cells derived from patients with AD spontaneously produce increased amounts of IL-6 compared to T cells from normal subjects, which may reflect the increased activation state of T cells in atopic dermatitis. These data support the concept that activated T cells or subsets of T cells may be important effector cells in mediating inflammatory activity in atopic disease.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)299-304
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Investigative Dermatology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1993
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Dermatology
  • Cell Biology


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