Role of IL-6 and its soluble receptor in induction of chemokines and leukocyte recruitment

Immunity. 1997 Mar;6(3):315-25. doi: 10.1016/s1074-7613(00)80334-9.


IL-6-/- mice showed impaired leukocyte accumulation in subcutaneous air pouches. Defective leukocyte accumulation was not due to a reduced migratory capacity of IL-6-/- leukocytes and was associated with a reduced in situ production of chemokines. These observations led to a reexamination of the interaction of IL-6 with endothelial cells (EC). EC express only the gp130 signal transducing chain and not the subunit-specific IL-6R and are therefore unresponsive to IL-6. However, EC are responsive to a combination of IL-6 and soluble IL-6R as measured by the activation of STAT3, chemokine expression, and augmentation of ICAM-1. Activation by IL-6-IL-6R complexes was inhibited by an IL-6 receptor antagonist and potentiated by a superagonist. Hence, in vivo and in vitro evidence supports the concept that the IL-6 system plays an unexpected positive role in local inflammatory reactions by amplifying leukocyte recruitment.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antigens, CD / biosynthesis
  • Antigens, CD / physiology*
  • Cell Movement / drug effects
  • Cell Movement / genetics*
  • Cell Movement / immunology
  • Chemokines / biosynthesis*
  • Cytokines / biosynthesis
  • Cytokines / drug effects*
  • DNA-Binding Proteins / drug effects
  • DNA-Binding Proteins / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Interleukin-6 / agonists
  • Interleukin-6 / genetics
  • Interleukin-6 / physiology*
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Knockout
  • Receptors, Interleukin / antagonists & inhibitors
  • Receptors, Interleukin / biosynthesis
  • Receptors, Interleukin / physiology*
  • Receptors, Interleukin-6
  • STAT3 Transcription Factor
  • Trans-Activators / drug effects
  • Trans-Activators / metabolism


  • Antigens, CD
  • Chemokines
  • Cytokines
  • DNA-Binding Proteins
  • Interleukin-6
  • Receptors, Interleukin
  • Receptors, Interleukin-6
  • STAT3 Transcription Factor
  • STAT3 protein, human
  • Stat3 protein, mouse
  • Trans-Activators