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This article is part of the supplement: Interleukin-6, a pleiotropic cytokine

Highly Accessed Review

Interleukin-6 and chronic inflammation

Cem Gabay

Author Affiliations

Division of Rheumatology, University Hospital of Geneva, and Department of Pathology and Immunology, University of Geneva School of Medicine, Geneva, Switzerland

Arthritis Research & Therapy 2006, 8(Suppl 2):S3  doi:10.1186/ar1917

Published: 28 July 2006

Abstract

Interleukin (IL)-6 is produced at the site of inflammation and plays a key role in the acute phase response as defined by a variety of clinical and biological features such as the production of acute phase proteins. IL-6 in combination with its soluble receptor sIL-6Rα, dictates the transition from acute to chonic inflammation by changing the nature of leucocyte infiltrate (from polymorphonuclear neutrophils to monocyte/macrophages). In addition, IL-6 exerts stimulatory effects on T- and B-cells, thus favoring chronic inflammatory responses. Strategies targeting IL-6 and IL-6 signaling led to effective prevention and treatment of models of rheumatoid arthritis and other chronic inflammatory diseases.