Cytokines and the hepatic acute-phase response

Semin Liver Dis. 1999;19(2):141-55. doi: 10.1055/s-2007-1007106.


The acute-phase reaction comprises a variety of systemic changes in response to tissue injury and infection. Synthesis of several plasma proteins in the liver undergoes dramatic changes during the acute-phase reaction. These changes are mediated by the action of cytokines, mainly interleukin 6-(IL6-) and interleukin 1-(IL1-) type cytokines. The role of these cytokines is reviewed in detail. Attention is payed to the differences recently detected between the locally and systemically induced acute-phase response--in particular, the newest findings concerning the meaning of single cytokines. Also, changes in liver metabolic enzyme expression under acute-phase conditions are discussed. The impact of cytokine and cytokine-receptor knockout or transgenic mouse models on current knowledge is provided. The role of cytokines together with that of soluble cytokine receptors in the resolution of the acute-phase response is discussed.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Acute-Phase Proteins / physiology
  • Acute-Phase Reaction* / metabolism
  • Acute-Phase Reaction* / physiopathology
  • Animals
  • Cytokines / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Interleukin-6 / physiology
  • Liver / cytology
  • Liver / metabolism*
  • Liver / physiopathology
  • Mice
  • Mice, Knockout
  • Mice, Transgenic
  • Rats
  • Receptors, Cytokine / physiology
  • Signal Transduction


  • Acute-Phase Proteins
  • Cytokines
  • Interleukin-6
  • Receptors, Cytokine