The many faces of interleukin-6: the role of IL-6 in inflammation, vasculopathy, and fibrosis in systemic sclerosis

Int J Rheumatol. 2011;2011:721608. doi: 10.1155/2011/721608. Epub 2011 Sep 20.

Abstract

Interleukin-6 is currently attracting significant interest as a potential therapeutic target in systemic sclerosis (SSc). In this paper, the biology of interleukin-6 is reviewed, and the evidence for interleukin-6 dysregulation in SSc is explored. The role of inteleukin-6 classical and trans signalling pathways in SSc relevant phenomena such as chronic inflammation, autoimmunity, endothelial cell dysfunction, and fibrogenesis is discussed. The existing evidence that interventions designed to block interleukin-6 signalling are of therapeutic relevance in SSc is evaluated.