IL-6 increases hepcidin gene expression in airway epithelial cells but does not contribute to IFN-γ induced hepcidin expression. NHBE cells, grown at ALI, were exposed to IL-6 (100 ng/ml) for 1 hour and harvested after 2, 6, and 24 hrs (A). Additional NHBE cells were pre-treated with an IL-6 soluble receptor antibody (IL-6sR; 1 μg/ml) for 1 hr prior to exposure to either IFN-γ or IL-6, then harvested after 2 hrs (B) and 24 hrs (C). Hepcidin gene expression was measured by real time PCR, normalized to 18s, and expressed as fold induction over control ± SE (n = 4). * P < 0.001 relative to control; #P < 0.05 relative to IL-6 stimulated cells.