CIS (cytokine-inducible SH2 protein), SOCS (suppressor of cytokine signaling), or SSI (signal transducers and activators of transcription [STAT]-induced STAT inhibitor) proteins are a family of cytokine-inducible negative regulators of cytokine signaling via Janus kinase (JAK)-STAT pathways. Given the evidence that the JAK-STAT pathway plays a critical role in the cardiovascular system, the primary objective of this study was to assess the effects of the CIS family on JAK-STAT signaling in the cardiovascular system in rats treated with cardiotrophin-1 (CT-1), an interleukin-6 family of cytokines. Intravenous injection of 20 μg/kg body weight of CT-1 induced a transient, marked increase in STAT3 activation in various tissues, including heart and lung, and subsequent upregulation of 2 members of the CIS family, JAK-binding protein (JAB)/SOCS-1/SSI-1 and CIS3/SOCS-3/SSI-3, in the same tissues. It was also observed that CIS3 was directly associated with JAK2 in vivo. Pretreatment with the same dose of CT-1 60 minutes before significantly attenuated the STAT3 activation induced by a second injection of CT-1. We previously reported that intravenous injection of CT-1 results in the nitric oxide (NO)-dependent hypotension accompanied by the induction of inducible NO synthase mRNA. In rats pretreated with CT-1, the induction of inducible NO synthase mRNA or hypotension by subsequent CT-1 injection was not observed. Forced expression of JAB or CIS3, bur not other CISs, directly blocked CT-1-induced STAT3 activation in 293 cells. These results suggest that JAB and CIS3 serve as endogenous inhibitors of CT-1-mediated JAK-STAT signaling in the cardiovascular system in vivo.
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