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Ann N Y Acad Sci. 2009 Sep;1173:318-25. doi: 10.1111/j.1749-6632.2009.04850.x.

IL-6 during viral-induced chronic autoimmune myocarditis.

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Department Microbiology and Immunology, The University of British Columbia, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.


Interleukin (IL)-6 is a pleiotropic cytokine that plays a key role in a wide variety of diseases. Based on a number of adjuvant-induced experimental models, IL-6 is critical to the development of autoimmune diseases including experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis, adjuvant-induced arthritis, and experimental autoimmune myocarditis. However, whether it plays a pathogenic role in viral-induced autoimmune myocarditis has been less well defined. While experimental models of myocarditis have clearly linked IL-6 to the generation of pathogenic autoreactive T cells, IL-6 has exhibited a protective role in autoimmune disease development in viral-induced disease models. As pathogen infection has been linked to the majority of myocarditis patients, treatments aimed at decreasing IL-6 levels in the hopes of limiting the autoimmune response run the risk of increasing disease severity.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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