Author(s): Ishihara K, Hirano T
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Abstract Interleukin 6 (IL-6), which was originally identified as a B-cell differentiation factor, is now known to be a multifunctional cytokine that regulates the immune response, hematopoiesis, the acute phase response, and inflammation. Deregulation of IL-6 production is implicated in the pathology of several disease processes. The expression of constitutively high levels of IL-6 in transgenic mice results in fatal plasmacytosis, which has been implicated in human multiple myeloma. Increased IL-6 levels are also observed in several diseases, including rheumatoid arthritis (RA), systemic-onset juvenile chronic arthritis (JCA), osteoporosis, and psoriasis. IL-6 is critically involved in experimentally induced autoimmune disease, such as antigen-induced arthritis (AIA), and experimental allergic encephalomyelitis. All these clinical data and animal models suggest that IL-6 plays critical roles in the pathogenesis of autoimmune diseases. Here we review the evidence for the involvement of IL-6 in the pathophysiology of autoimmune diseases and chronic inflammatory proliferative diseases (CIPD) and discuss the possible molecular mechanisms of its involvement.
This article was published in Cytokine Growth Factor Rev
and referenced in Journal of Clinical & Cellular Immunology