Various cytokines, including tumor necrosis factor (TNF) alpha, growth hormone (GH) and interleukin (IL)-6, induce insulin resistance. Recently, it was demonstrated that induction of suppressor of cytokine signaling (SOCS)-3 by TNFalpha and GH is an important mechanism by which these cytokines impair insulin sensitivity. The current study investigated in 3T3-L1 adipocytes whether TNFalpha and GH also upregulate SOCS-1 and SOCS-6, which have both been shown to inhibit insulin signaling potently, and whether IL-6 might alter synthesis of SOCS-1, -3 and -6. Interestingly, 10 ng/ml TNFalpha, 500 ng/ml GH and 30 ng/ml IL-6 induced SOCS-1 mRNA time-dependently with maximal stimulation detectable after 8 h of TNFalpha and 1 h of GH and IL-6 addition respectively. Furthermore, TNFalpha and GH caused sustained upregulation of SOCS-1 for up to 24 h, whereas stimulation by IL-6 was only transient, with SOCS-1 mRNA returning to basal levels 2 h after effector addition. Induction of SOCS-1 was dose-dependent, and significant stimulation was detectable at concentrations as low as 3 ng/ml TNFalpha, 50 ng/ml GH and 10 ng/ml IL-6. Furthermore, stimulation experiments and studies using pharmacologic inhibitors suggested that the positive effect of TNFalpha, GH and IL-6 on SOCS-1 mRNA is, at least in part, mediated by Janus kinase (Jak) 2. Finally, SOCS-3 expression was dose- and time-dependently induced by IL-6, at least in part via Jak2, but none of the cytokines affected SOCS-6 expression. Taken together, our results show a differential regulation of SOCS mRNA by insulin resistance-inducing hormones, and suggest that SOCS-1, as well as SOCS-3, may be an important intracellular mediator of insulin resistance in fat cells and a potential pharmacologic target for the treatment of impaired insulin sensitivity.
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