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Nat Immunol. 2015 May;16(5):448-57. doi: 10.1038/ni.3153.

IL-6 as a keystone cytokine in health and disease.

Author information

1
Department of Pathobiology, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA.
2
Cardiff Institute of Infection and Immunity, The School of Medicine, Cardiff University, Heath Campus, Cardiff, UK.

Abstract

Interleukin 6 (IL-6) has a broad effect on cells of the immune system and those not of the immune system and often displays hormone-like characteristics that affect homeostatic processes. IL-6 has context-dependent pro- and anti-inflammatory properties and is now regarded as a prominent target for clinical intervention. However, the signaling cassette that controls the activity of IL-6 is complicated, and distinct intervention strategies can inhibit this pathway. Clinical experience with antagonists of IL-6 has raised new questions about how and when to block this cytokine to improve disease outcome and patient wellbeing. Here we discuss the effect of IL-6 on innate and adaptive immunity and the possible advantages of various antagonists of IL-6 and consider how the immunobiology of IL-6 may inform clinical decisions.

PMID:
25898198
DOI:
10.1038/ni.3153
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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