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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

Citation and License

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.