An anti-inflammatory role for interleukin-11 in established murine collagen-induced arthritis

Immunology. 1998 Sep;95(1):31-7. doi: 10.1046/j.1365-2567.1998.00568.x.


Interleukin-11 (IL-11) is a cytokine belonging to the IL-6 family which has both pro- and anti-inflammatory potential. Like IL-6 it can diminish tumour necrosis factor-alpha and IL-1 production, and augment immunoglobulin synthesis. We have explored the immunomodulatory effects of IL-11 treatment in mice in a model of inflammatory autoimmune joint disease, collagen-induced arthritis (CIA). Recombinant human IL-11 was administered at various doses to DBA/1 mice after the onset of CIA. IL-11 treatment caused a significant reduction in the clinical severity of established CIA, which was associated with protection from joint damage, as assessed by histology. Although there was a suggestion at high doses of IL-11 that the anticollagen type II (CII) response may have been augmented, there was no statistically significant effect of IL-11 treatment on anti-CII antibody levels. Similarly, the acute-phase reactant serum amyloid P was only elevated in mice receiving very high doses (50-100 microgram/day) of IL-11. Endogenous IL-11 was abundantly produced in synovial membrane cultures derived from CII-immunized mice with active disease, suggesting that, as in rheumatoid arthritis, this cytokine is spontaneously produced in the inflammatory response in CIA. The results presented here demonstrate an anti-arthritic immunoregulatory role for IL-11 in murine CIA, and suggest that IL-11 is a candidate therapeutic molecule for human inflammatory arthritic diseases.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Arthritis, Experimental / blood
  • Arthritis, Experimental / drug therapy*
  • Arthritis, Experimental / pathology
  • Collagen / immunology
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Drug Therapy, Combination
  • Hindlimb
  • Immunoglobulin G / analysis
  • Interleukin-10 / therapeutic use
  • Interleukin-11 / therapeutic use*
  • Joints / pathology
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred DBA
  • Recombinant Proteins / therapeutic use
  • Serum Amyloid A Protein / analysis


  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents
  • Immunoglobulin G
  • Interleukin-11
  • Recombinant Proteins
  • Serum Amyloid A Protein
  • Interleukin-10
  • Collagen