IL-20, an IL-10 family member, is involved in various inflammatory diseases, such as psoriasis, rheumatoid arthritis, and atherosclerosis. We investigated whether hypoxia in vitro and an in vivo model of ischemic stroke would up-regulate IL-20 expression. In vitro, IL-20 expression increased in hypoxic HaCaT, HEK293 cells, chondrocytes, monocytes, and glioblastoma cells. Inhibition of hypoxia-inducible factor 1α inhibited CoCl2-induced IL-20 expression. We identified two putative hypoxia response elements in the human il20 gene promoter. Promoter activity assays showed that CoCl2 mimicked hypoxia-activated luciferase reporter gene expression. In vivo, experimental ischemic stroke up-regulated IL-20 in the sera and brain tissue of rats. IL-20 stained positively in glia-like cells in peri-infarcted lesions, but not in contralateral tissue. Administration of IL-20 mAb ameliorated ischemia-induced brain infarction of rats after experimental ischemic stroke. In vitro, RT-PCR analysis showed that glioblastoma cells, GBM8901, expressed IL-20 and its receptor subunits IL-20R1, IL-20R2, and IL-22R1. IL-20 induced cell proliferation in GBM8901 cells by activating the JAK2/STAT3 and ERK1/2 pathways. IL-20 also induced production of IL-1β, IL-8, and MCP-1 in GBM8901 cells. We conclude that IL-20 was responsive to hypoxia in vitro and in the ischemic stroke model and that up-regulation of IL-20 in the ischemic brain may contribute to brain injury.
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↵1 Address correspondence and reprint requests to Prof. Ming-shi Chang, Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, National Cheng Kung University, College of Medicine, Tainan 704, Taiwan. E-mail address:
- Received November 5, 2008.
- Accepted February 10, 2009.
- Copyright © 2009 by The American Association of Immunologists, Inc.