Role of interleukin-6 in bone destruction and bone repair in rheumatoid arthritis

Tsutomu Takeuchi, Hiroto Yoshida, Sakae Tanaka

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

58 Citations (Scopus)


Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a common inflammatory form of arthritis leading to the progressive bone and joint destruction. Many factors are closely involved in the pathology of RA, in particular bone-related cells and inflammatory cytokines such as TNF-α and interleukin-6 (IL-6). Because RA patients with progressive bone destruction experience accelerated deterioration of their quality of life, inhibition of disease progression and joint destruction has become an important clinical goal. Recent studies have also found that drug intervention targeting proinflammatory cytokines such as IL-6 results in bone repair in addition to suppression of bone and joint destruction, and these results suggest the potential for new therapeutic goals. Regarding the relationship between IL-6 and bone destruction, essential roles of osteoclasts have been reported over many years; however, more recent studies have explored the relationship of IL-6 with osteoblasts and osteocytes. In this review, we highlight the perspectives of basic and clinical research, adding new findings on the relationships between IL-6 and bone-related cells associated with inflammation, and the possibility of bone repair by blocking IL-6.

Original languageEnglish
Article number102884
JournalAutoimmunity Reviews
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 2021 Sept


  • Bone repair
  • IL-6
  • Osteoblasts
  • Osteoclasts
  • Osteocytes
  • Rheumatoid arthritis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology


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