The Role of gp130 Cytokines in Tuberculosis

Cells. 2020 Dec 15;9(12):2695. doi: 10.3390/cells9122695.


Protective immune responses to Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb) infection substantially depend on a delicate balance within cytokine networks. Thus, immunosuppressive therapy by cytokine blockers, as successfully used in the management of various chronic inflammatory diseases, is often connected with an increased risk for tuberculosis (TB) reactivation. Hence, identification of alternative therapeutics which allow the treatment of inflammatory diseases without compromising anti-mycobacterial immunity remains an important issue. On the other hand, in the context of novel therapeutic approaches for the management of TB, host-directed adjunct therapies, which combine administration of antibiotics with immunomodulatory drugs, play an increasingly important role, particularly to reduce the duration of treatment. In both respects, cytokines/cytokine receptors related to the common receptor subunit gp130 may serve as promising target candidates. Within the gp130 cytokine family, interleukin (IL)-6, IL-11 and IL-27 are most explored in the context of TB. This review summarizes the differential roles of these cytokines in protection and immunopathology during Mtb infection and discusses potential therapeutic implementations with respect to the aforementioned approaches.

Keywords: IL-11; IL-27; IL-6; cytokines; gp130; tuberculosis.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cytokine Receptor gp130 / metabolism*
  • Cytokines / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Immunity / immunology
  • Models, Biological
  • Tuberculosis / immunology
  • Tuberculosis / metabolism*
  • Tuberculosis / therapy


  • Cytokines
  • Cytokine Receptor gp130