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Int J Biol Sci 2012; 8(9):1281-1290. doi:10.7150/ijbs.4874

Review

Role of IL-6 in Asthma and Other Inflammatory Pulmonary Diseases

Mercedes Rincon1✉, Charles G. Irvin2

1. Department of Medicine, Immunobiology Division, University of Vermont, Burlington, VT 05405, USA;
2. Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine Division, University of Vermont, Burlington, VT 05405, USA.

Abstract

The incidence and severity of chronic lung diseases is growing and affects between 100 and 150 million people worldwide and is associated with a significant rate of mortality. Unfortunately, the initial cause that triggers most chronic lung diseases remains unknown and current available therapies only ameliorate, but do not cure the disease. Thus, there is a need for identification of new targets and development of novel therapies especially for those most severely affected. IL-6, like other inflammatory cytokines, has been shown to be elevated in different lung diseases, but it was considered a byproduct of ongoing inflammation in the lung. However, recent studies support a dissociation of IL-6 from inflammation in the lung and suggest that this cytokine plays an active role in pathogenesis of asthma and, in all likelihood, COPD. IL-6 may therefore be a germane target for treatment of these and other chronic lung disease. Here, we provide an overview of the studies in mouse models and human patients that provide support for the involvement of IL-6 in lung diseases.

Keywords: IL-6, chronic lung diseases

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How to cite this article:
Rincon M, Irvin CG. Role of IL-6 in Asthma and Other Inflammatory Pulmonary Diseases. Int J Biol Sci 2012; 8(9):1281-1290. doi:10.7150/ijbs.4874. Available from http://www.ijbs.com/v08p1281.htm