The environmental contaminants pentachlorophenol (PCP) and 4, 4′-dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane (DDT) are detected in some human blood samples at levels as high as 5 μM (PCP) and 260 nM (DDT). Several cancers are associated with exposures to these contaminants. IL-6 is a pro-inflammatory cytokine that when dysregulated stimulates inflammatory diseases and tumor progression. Immune cells exposed to PCP at 0.05–5 μM and DDT at 0.025–2.5 μM showed increased secretion of IL-6 when the cell preparations contained either T lymphocytes or monocytes. Increased IL-6 secretion was due to PCP and DDT induced cellular production of the cytokine and was dependent on MAP kinase signaling pathways (in the case of PCP). Compound-induced increases in IL-6 production were in part due to increases in either the transcription of and/or stability of its mRNA. Thus, both PCP and DDT have the potential to produce chronic inflammation by stimulating production of IL-6 by immune cells.
Tamara J. Martin, Sahra Gabure, JaQuel Maise, Sequena Snipes, Margarita Peete, Margaret M. Whalen, "The organochlorine pesticides pentachlorophenol and dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane increase secretion and production of interleukin 6 by human immune cells", Environmental Toxicology and Pharmacology, Volume 72, 2019, 103263, ISSN 1382-6689, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.etap.2019.103263.