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IL-6: To immunity and beyond
  1. Ernest H Choy1,
  2. Simon A Jones1,
  3. Daniel Aletaha2,
  4. Tsutomu Takeuchi3,
  5. Iain McInnes4,
  6. Josef Smolen5
  1. 1 School of Medicine Institute of Infection and Immunity, Cardiff University, Cardiff, UK
  2. 2 Department of Rheumatology, Medical University of Vienna, Vienna, Austria
  3. 3 Department of Internal Medicine, Keio University Hospital, Tokyo, Japan
  4. 4 Institute of Infection, Immunity and Inflammation, University of Glasgow, Glasgow, UK
  5. 5 Medical University of Vienna and Hietzing Hospital, Vienna, Austria
  1. Correspondence to Dr Ernest H Choy, School of Medicine Institute of Infection and Immunity, Cardiff University, Cardiff CF10 3AT, UK, ChoyEH{at}


Interleukin (IL)−6 inhibition has been approved for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis, systemic juvenile arthritis, polyarticular juvenile idiopathic arthritis, giant cell arteritis, and, in some countries, Castleman’s disease. IL-6 has also been implicated in several non-rheumatoid arthritis inflammatory and immune conditions such as systemic sclerosis, vasculitides, systemic lupus erythematous, and psoriatic arthritis. In orphan diseases, such as systemic sclerosis, which are associated with significant morbidity and mortality and for which there are no approved treatments, IL-6 inhibition may offer a promising treatment strategy. It is also becoming clear that IL-6 may have an important role not only in inflammatory and immune diseases but also in non-immune mediated diseases such as endogenous depression and depression associated with chronic inflammatory conditions. Several studies have explored the effect of IL-6 pathway inhibition in Crohn’s disease and adult-onset Still’s disease, suggesting that IL-6 may be important in their pathogenesis.

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  • Funding This initiative is sponsored by R-Pharm through the provision of an unrestricted educational grant. R-Pharm has had no influence over the content.

  • Competing interests DA declares no conflicts. EHC reports grants from NovImmune AG, grants and personal fees from Pfizer, grants from UCB, grants and personal fees from Roche, personal fees from Abbvie, Biogen, Bristol Myer Scripps, Chugai Pharma, Eli Lilly, Hospira, Janssen, Novartis, Regeneron, R-Pharm and Sanofi-Aventis; SAJ reports non-financial support from CESAS Medical during the conduct of the study; personal fees from CESAS Medical, Eleven Biotherapeutics, grants and personal fees from Roche Pharmaceuticals, personal fees and other from Genentech, grants and personal fees from Glaxo-Smith-Kline, Chugai Pharmaceuticals, Ferrin Pharmaceuticals, Regeneron/Sanofi, grants, personal fees and non-financial support from NovImmune AG, outside the submitted work; IM reports grants from Roche and Refereron, during the conduct of the study; grants and personal fees from Abbvie, Astra Zeneca, Celgene, GSK, Janssen, Lilly, Novartis, Pfizer, Roche, grants and personal fees from Refereron, outside the submitted work; JS reports grants from Abbvie, Astra-Zeneca, Janssen, Lilly, MSD, Pfizer, Roche, personal fees from Abbvie, Amgen, Astra-Zeneca, Astro, BMS, Celgene, Celltrion, Chugai, Gilead, Glaxo, ILTOO, Janssen, Lilly, Medimmune, MSD, Novartis-Sandoz, Pfizer, Roche, Samsung, Sanofi, UCB during the conduct of the study; TT reports grants, personal fees and other from Astellas Pharma Inc, Abbvie GK, Mitsubishi Tanabe Pharma Co, grants and personal fees from Bristol–Myers KK, Chugai Pharmaceutical Co Ltd, Daiichi Sankyo Co, Ltd, Pfizer Japan Inc, grants from Takeda Pharmaceutical Co, Ltd, Teijin Pharma Ltd, Asahikasei Pharma Corp, Eisai Co Ltd, AYUMI Pharmaceutical Corporation, grants and other from Taisho Toyama Pharmaceutical Co Ltd, Nipponkayaku Co Ltd, other from Astra Zeneca KK., Eli Lilly Japan KK, Novartis Pharma KK, Janssen Pharmaceutical KK, outside the submitted work; The participants/authors received personal fees for their participation in the round table.

  • Patient consent Not required.

  • Provenance and peer review Commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

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