Interleukin-20 targets renal cells and is associated with chronic kidney disease

Chi Chen Wei, Hsing Hui Li, Yu Hsiang Hsu, Chung-Hsi Hsing, Junne Ming Sung, Ming Shi Chang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Citations (Scopus)


Interleukin (IL)-10 is an anti-inflammatory factor that suppresses renal fibrosis and improves renal function in CKD rats. IL-20 belongs to the IL-10 family; therefore, we sought to determine whether IL-20 is involved in CKD. CKD patients at stage five expressed significantly higher IL-20 in serum than controls. Immunohistochemical staining demonstrated that more IL-20 protein was expressed in the kidney tubular-epithelial cells, mesangial cells, and immune cells of CKD rats with a 5/6 nephrectomy. The lung, liver, and heart tissue of CKD rats also overexpressed IL-20. Thus, we treated two tubular epithelial cells, TKPTS and M-1 cells, with IL-20 to study its effects on CKD. IL-20 treatment induced apoptosis in these cells via caspase-3 activation. Incubating IL-20 with rat interstitial fibroblasts, NRK-49F cells, upregulated TGF-β1production, one key inducer for renal fibrogenesis. Therefore, IL-20 injured renal epithelial cells and induced fibroblasts to produce TGF-β1 that hastened the progression of CKD.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)448-453
Number of pages6
JournalBiochemical and Biophysical Research Communications
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Sept 26 2008
Externally publishedYes


  • Apoptosis
  • Chronic kidney disease
  • Cytokines
  • Fibroblasts
  • Renal epithelial cells

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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