Effects of hypoxia on the expression of inflammatory markers IL-6 and TNF-a in human normal peritoneal and adhesion fibroblasts

Dana R. Ambler, Nicole M. Fletcher, Michael P. Diamond, Ghassan M. Saed

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

38 Scopus citations


Inflammation is known to be involved in the postoperative adhesion development. Interleukin (IL)-6 and tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α are cytokines that stimulate the acute-phase reaction, which leads to a systemic reaction including inflammation, fever, and activation of the complement and clotting cascades. The goal of this study was to examine the expression of these inflammatory markers, under normal and hypoxic conditions, in normal and adhesion fibroblasts. Primary cultures of fibroblasts were established from normal peritoneum and adhesion tissues from the same patient(s) and cultured under 20% O2 or hypoxic 2% O2 conditions for 24 hours. Cells were harvested and total RNA was isolated. Complimentary DNA was generated by reverse transcription and subjected to real-time RT-PCR using specific primers for IL-6 and TNF-α. Both normal peritoneal and adhesion fibroblasts expressed IL-6 and TNF-α. Adhesion fibroblasts exhibited significantly higher levels of IL-6 and TNF-α mRNA as compared to normal peritoneal fibroblasts (p<0.05). Both IL-6 and TNF-α mRNA levels were upregulated in response to hypoxia in both normal peritoneal and adhesion fibroblasts. The increase in IL-6 and TNF-α mRNA levels of normal fibroblasts reached the levels observed in adhesion fibroblasts. Our results suggest that hypoxia promotes the development of the adhesion phenotype by the induction of inflammatory markers, which may contribute to the development of postoperative adhesions. The inhibition of inflammation may be a potential therapeutic approach in the prevention and/or reduction of postoperative adhesion development.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)324-329
Number of pages6
JournalSystems Biology in Reproductive Medicine
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • IL-6
  • TNF-α
  • hypoxia
  • postoperative adehsions

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Reproductive Medicine
  • Urology


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