Blood Vitronectin Is a Major Activator of LIF and IL-6 in the Brain Through Integrin-FAK and uPAR Signaling

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We defined how blood-derived vitronectin (VTN) rapidly and potently activates leukemia inhibitory factor (LIF) and pro-inflammatory interleukin 6 (IL-6) in vitro and after vascular injury in the brain. Treatment with VTN (but not fibrinogen, fibronectin, laminin-111 or collagen-I) substantially increased LIF and IL-6 within 4 h in C6-astroglioma cells, while VTN-/- mouse plasma was less effective than that from wild-type mice. LIF and IL-6 were induced by intracerebral injection of recombinant human (rh)VTN in mice, but induction seen upon intracerebral hemorrhage was less in VTN-/- mice than in wild-type littermates. In vitro, VTNeffects were inhibited by RGD, αvβ3 and αvβ5 integrin-blocking peptides and antibodies. VTN activated focal adhesion kinase (FAK; also known as PTK2), whereas pharmacological- or siRNA-mediated inhibition of FAK, but not PYK2, reduced the expression of LIF and IL-6 in C6 and endothelial cells and after traumatic cell injury.Dominant-negative FAK (Y397F) reduced the amount of injury-induced LIF and IL-6. Pharmacological inhibition or knockdown of uPAR (also known as PLAUR), which binds VTN, also reduced cytokine expression, possibly through a common target of uPAR and integrins. We propose that VTN leakage into tissues promotes inflammation. Integrin-FAKsignaling is therefore a novel IL-6 and LIF regulation mechanism relevant to the inflammation and stem cell fields.