Arthritis Research & Therapy

, 8:S3

First online:

Interleukin-6 and chronic inflammation

  • Cem GabayAffiliated withDivision of Rheumatology, University Hospital of Geneva, and Department of Pathology and Immunology, University of Geneva School of Medicine Email author 


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.