Radiotherapy (RT) is a potent anti-tumor modality. However, unwanted effects including increased recurrence and metastasis that involve factors such as cytokines, which induce complex molecular mechanisms, have also been reported. In a previous study, we showed that interleukin (IL)-12 and radiotherapy combination treatment suppressed tumor growth and metastasis in a hepatoma mouse model. In this study, we investigated the mechanism underlying the IL-12 anti-tumor effect during radiotherapy. In tumor-bearing mice, irradiation decreased IL-12 expression in the tumors and spleens. However, a number of dendritic cells infiltrated into the tumors in which IL-12 expression did not decrease. To further study the underlying detailed mechanism for this decrease in IL-12, LPS-stimulated bone marrow- derived dendritic cells (BMDCs) were irradiated, and then IL-12- and IL-6-associated molecules were examined in irradiated tumors and BMDCs. Irradiation resulted in IL-12 suppression and IL-6 increase. IL-6 and signal transducer and activator of transcription 3 (STAT3) inhibitors restored the irradiation-induced IL-12 decrease via suppression of C-Rel activation. Taken together, our study suggests that irradiation-induced IL-6 can decrease IL-12 production through the inhibition of C-Rel phosphorylation by the IL-6/STAT3 signaling pathway.
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© 2016 Lee et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)