Scientific publications

Cardiotrophin-1 is an anti-inflammatory cytokine and promotes IL-4-induced M2 macrophage polarization

Jun 1, 2019 | Magazine: The FASEB Journal

David Carneros, Eva M Santamaría, Eduardo Larequi, Jose Miguel Vélez-Ortiz, Mercedes Reboredo, Uxua Mancheño, María Jesús Perugorria, Plácido Navas, Manuel Romero-Gómez, Jesús Prieto, Sandra Hervás-Stubbs, Matilde Bustos


Macrophages play a central role in tissue remodeling, repair, and resolution of inflammation. Macrophage polarization to M1 or M2 activation status may determine the progression or resolution of the inflammatory response. We have previously reported that cardiotrophin-1 (CT-1) displays both cytoprotective and metabolic activities. The role of CT-1 in inflammation remains poorly understood.

Here, we employed recombinant CT-1 (rCT-1) and used CT-1-null mice and myeloid-specific CT-1 transgenic mice to investigate whether CT-1 might play a role in the modulation of the inflammatory response. We observed that CT-1 deficiency was associated with enhanced release of inflammatory mediators and with stronger activation of NF-κB in response to LPS, whereas the inflammatory response was attenuated in CT-1 transgenic mice or by administering rCT-1 to wild-type animals prior to LPS challenge.

We found that CT-1 promoted IL-6 expression only by nonhematopoietic cells, whereas LPS up-regulated IL-6 expression in both hematopoietic and nonhematopoietic cells. Notably, rCT-1 inhibited LPS-mediated soluble IL-6R induction. Using IL-6-/- mice, we showed that rCT-1 inhibited LPS-induced TNF-α and IFN-γ response in an IL-6-independent manner. Importantly, we demonstrated that CT-1 primes macrophages for IL-4-dependent M2 polarization by inducing IL-4 receptor expression. Mechanistic analyses showed that the signal transducer and activator of transcription 3-suppressor of cytokine signaling 3 axis mediates this effect.

Our findings support the notion that CT-1 is a critical regulator of inflammation and suggest that rCT-1 could be a molecule with potential therapeutic application in inflammatory conditions.-Carneros, D., Santamaría, E. M., Larequi, E., Vélez-Ortiz, J. M., Reboredo, M., Mancheño, U., Perugorria, M. J., Navas, P., Romero-Gómez, M., Prieto, J., Hervás-Stubbs, S., Bustos, M. Cardiotrophin-1 is an anti-inflammatory cytokine and promotes IL-4-induced M2 macrophage polarization.

CITATION  FASEB J. 2019 Jun;33(6):7578-7587. doi: 10.1096/fj.201801563R. Epub 2019 Mar 20.

Our authors

Dr. Eva Santamaría Monasterio
Técnico de Laboratorio del Programa de Medicina Regenerativa del Cima Universidad de Navarra
Eduardo Larequi Ardanaz
Uxua Mancheño Ujué