The role of interleukin-6 in the failing heart

Heart Fail Rev. 2001 Mar;6(2):95-103. doi: 10.1023/a:1011401825680.


Clinical studies have shown that circulating levels of interleukin (IL)-6 and other IL-6 related cytokines are increased in patients with congestive heart failure (CHF). Plasma IL-6 concentrations are related to decreasing functional status of the patient and provide important prognostic information. Experimental studies have produced compelling evidence that IL-6 and IL-6 related cytokines play a pivotal role in the regulation of cardiac myocyte hypertrophy and apoptosis. This review summarizes clinical and experimental data from this rapidly evolving field, which, taken together, strongly suggest that IL-6 and IL-6 related cytokines are intricately involved in the pathophysiology of the failing heart.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antigens, CD / metabolism
  • Apoptosis
  • Cytokine Receptor gp130
  • Disease Progression
  • Heart Failure / metabolism*
  • Heart Failure / physiopathology
  • Humans
  • Interleukin-6 / metabolism*
  • Membrane Glycoproteins / metabolism
  • Signal Transduction


  • Antigens, CD
  • IL6ST protein, human
  • Interleukin-6
  • Membrane Glycoproteins
  • Cytokine Receptor gp130