The role of interleukin-6 in glucose homeostasis and lipid metabolism


Low-grade inflammation is recognized as an important factor in the development and progression of a multitude of diseases including type 2 diabetes mellitus and cardiovascular disease. The potential of using antibody-based therapies that neutralize key players of low-grade inflammation has gained scientific momentum as a novel therapeutic strategy in metabolic diseases. As interleukin-6 (IL-6) is traditionally considered a key pro-inflammatory factor, the potential of expanding the use of anti-IL-6 therapies to metabolic diseases is intriguing. However, IL-6 is a molecule of a very pleiotropic nature that regulates many aspects of not only inflammation but also metabolism. In this review, we give a brief overview of the pro- and anti-inflammatory aspects of IL-6 and provide an update on its role in metabolic regulation, with a specific focus on glucose homeostasis and adipose tissue metabolism. Finally, we shall discuss the metabolic implications and clinical potential of blocking IL-6 signaling, focusing on glucose homeostasis and lipid metabolism.

Original languageEnglish
JournalSeminars in Immunopathology
Issue number4
Pages (from-to)491-499
Number of pages9
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2019


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