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Clin Rev Allergy Immunol. 2014 Oct;47(2):163-73. doi: 10.1007/s12016-014-8413-3.

Inhibition of the interleukin-6 signaling pathway: a strategy to induce immune tolerance.

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Department of Hematology, Xinqiao Hospital, Third Military Medical University, Chongqing, 400037, People's Republic of China,


Interleukin-6 (IL-6) is a proinflammatory cytokine that is multifunctional, with multifaceted effects. IL-6 signaling plays a vital role in the control of the differentiation and activation of T lymphocytes by inducing different pathways. In particular, IL-6 controls the balance between Th17 cells and regulatory T (Treg) cells. An imbalance between Treg and Th17 cells is thought to play a pathological role in various immune-mediated diseases. Deregulated IL-6 production and signaling are associated with immune tolerance. Therefore, methods of inhibiting IL-6 production, receptors, and signaling pathways are strategies that are currently being widely pursued to develop novel therapies that induce immune tolerance. This survey aims to provide an updated account of why IL-6 inhibitors are becoming a vital class of drugs that are potentially useful for inducing immune tolerance as a treatment for autoimmune diseases and transplant rejection. In addition, we discuss the effect of targeting IL-6 in recent experimental and clinical studies on autoimmune diseases and transplant rejection.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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