Intracerebroventricular interleukin-6 treatment decreases body fat in rats

Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2002 Apr 26;293(1):560-5. doi: 10.1016/S0006-291X(02)00230-9.


Recently we found that interleukin-6 (IL-6) knockout mice develop mature-onset obesity and that a single intracerebroventricular (ICV) injection of IL-6 increases energy expenditure. In the present study we investigated if chronic ICV treatment with IL-6 can suppress body fat mass. IL-6 was injected ICV daily for two weeks to rats fed a high-fat diet. IL-6 treatment but not saline treatment decreased body weight by 8.4% and decreased the relative weights of mesenteric and retroperitoneal fat pads. Consistent with this, circulating leptin levels were decreased by 40% after IL-6 treatment but not after saline treatment. Average food intake per day was decreased in the IL-6 treated group compared to the saline treated rats. IL-6 treatment did not change hepatic expression of the acute-phase protein haptoglobin, serum levels of insulin or insulin-like growth factor-I, or the weights of the heart, liver, kidneys, adrenals, and spleen. We conclude that centrally administered IL-6 can decrease body fat in rats without causing acute-phase reaction.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adipose Tissue / drug effects*
  • Animals
  • Body Weight / drug effects
  • Energy Intake
  • Haptoglobins / metabolism
  • Injections, Intraventricular
  • Interleukin-6 / administration & dosage
  • Interleukin-6 / pharmacology*
  • Liver / drug effects
  • Liver / metabolism
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Knockout
  • Obesity / prevention & control*
  • Organ Size / drug effects
  • Rats
  • Rats, Wistar


  • Haptoglobins
  • Interleukin-6