Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Lupus. 2004;13(5):339-43.

Rationale for interleukin-6 blockade in systemic lupus erythematosus.

Author information

Office of the Clinical Director, National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases, National Institutes of Health, Department of Health and Human Services, Bethesda, USA.


Interleukin-6 (IL-6) is a pleiotropic cytokine with a wide range of biological activities that plays an important role in immune regulation and inflammation. Among other actions, it induces terminal differentiation of B lymphocytes into antibody-forming cells and the differentiation of T cells into effector cells. IL-6 also has multiple potent proinflammatory effects. An association between IL-6 and lupus was demonstrated in murine models of SLE and blocking IL-6 improved lupus in all models tested. Data from several studies suggest that IL-6 plays a critical role in the B cell hyperactivity and immunopathology of human SLE, and may have a direct role in mediating tissue damage. Based on these data, we propose that blocking the effect of IL-6 in humans may improve lupus by interacting with the autoinflammatory process both systemically and locally.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Atypon Icon for PubMed Central
    Loading ...
    Support Center