Importance of Interleukin 6 in Pathogenesis of Inflammatory Bowel Disease

Boris Takač, Silvio Mihaljević, Mario Štefanić, Ljubica Glavaš-Obrovac, Aleksandar Kibel, Marina Samardžija


Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), encompassing ulcerative colitis (UC) and Crohn’s disease (CD), is an uncontrolled chronic inflammation of the gastrointestinal tract caused by an interaction of diverse genes and environmental factors. There is growing evidence that cytokine production plays an important role in IBD. One of the key roles in signaling pathway in development of IBD is performed by interleukin 6 (IL-6), although molecular mechanism of this pathway is not yet fully understood. In order to assess the clinical relevance of IL-6 serum concentration in patients with CD and UC we performed cross-sectional, case-control study of IL-6 levels in patients’ and healthy blood donors’ sera. A total of 100 CD and UC patients and 71 healthy blood donors were investigated. Clinical activity of CD and UC was evaluated using the Crohn's disease activity index and Truelove-Witt's criteria, respectively. Quantitative assessment of serum IL-6 was performed with solid-phase, enzyme-labeled, chemiluminescent sequential immunometric assay. Our results indicate that serum IL-6 is a clinically relevant parameter for CD and UC that strongly correlates with inflammatory activity of disease. We confirmed and extended the role of cytokine production patterns for IBD presentation in Croatian population.


Interleukin 6; ulcerative colitis; Crohn’s disease; C-reactive protein; signal transducer and activator of transcription; T cells; soluble interleukin 6 receptor; membrane bound interleukin 6 receptor; proinflammatory cytokines

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