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Cytokine. 2011 Jul;55(1):152-5. doi: 10.1016/j.cyto.2011.03.014. Epub 2011 Apr 7.

IL-6, but not TNF-α, increases plasma YKL-40 in human subjects.

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The Centre of Inflammation and Metabolism, Department of Infectious Diseases and CMRC, Rigshospitalet, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Copenhagen, Denmark.


Plasma levels of YKL-40 are elevated in patients with systemic infection, inflammatory disorders and cancer. Both monocytes/macrophages, neutrophils, and cancer cells have the capacity to produce YKL-40, but the regulation during the inflammatory response is unknown. To study the possible role of interleukin-6 (IL-6) and tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α in the regulation of YKL-40 plasma levels, we included healthy men, who received either recombinant human (rh)IL-6 (n=6), rhTNF-α (n=8) or vehicle (n=7) for 3h. The plasma levels of IL-6 and TNF-α reached ∼ 150 and ∼ 18 pg/ml, respectively, during the infusions. Following the IL-6 infusion, the plasma level of YKL-40 increased from ∼ 30 to ∼ 57 ng/ml (p<0.05) at 24h, and returned to normal values after 48 h. The plasma level of YKL-40 did not change during TNF-α infusion or infusion of vehicle. These data demonstrate that IL-6, but not TNF-α, has a key-role in the regulation of plasma YKL-40 levels during inflammation.

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