Molecular and cellular biology of interleukin-6 and its receptor

Front Biosci. 1996 Dec 1;1:d340-57. doi: 10.2741/a136.


Interleukin-6 (IL-6) is a member of the family of cytokines collectively termed "the interleukin-6 type cytokines." Among its many functions, IL-6 plays an active role in immunology, bone metabolism, reproduction, arthritis, neoplasia, and aging. IL-6 expression is regulated by a variety of factors, including steroidal hormones, at both the transcriptional and post-transcriptional levels. IL-6 achieves its effects through the ligand-specific IL-6 receptor (IL-6R). Unlike most other cytokine receptors, the IL-6R is active in both membrane bound and soluble forms. Defining mechanisms to control IL-6 or IL-6R expression may prove useful for therapy of the many clinical disorders in IL-6 plays a role.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Biology / methods
  • DNA Mutational Analysis
  • Humans
  • Interleukin-6 / genetics*
  • Interleukin-6 / metabolism
  • Molecular Biology / methods
  • Receptors, Interleukin-6 / genetics*
  • Receptors, Interleukin-6 / metabolism


  • Interleukin-6
  • Receptors, Interleukin-6