Cookies on this website

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Accept all cookies' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. If you click 'Reject all non-essential cookies' only necessary cookies providing core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility will be enabled. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

OBJECTIVE: High levels of interleukin-6 (IL-6) have been found in the synovial fluid of patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA). We undertook the present study to investigate the role of IL-6 in this disease. METHODS: We examined the effects of IL-6, in comparison with IL-1, on the biosynthesis of extracellular matrix macromolecules and of matrix-degrading proteinases in rheumatoid synovial fibroblasts. RESULTS: In rheumatoid synovial fibroblasts, IL-6 by itself enhanced the production of plasminogen activator, its inhibitor, and tissue inhibitor of metalloproteinases, whereas it did not modulate the biosynthesis of precursor of matrix metalloproteinase 1 (proMMP-1) (tissue collagenase), proMMP-3 (stromelysin), or connective tissue components. However, IL-1-induced production of proMMP-1 and proMMP-3 was preferentially augmented by IL-6. CONCLUSION: These results suggest that in RA, IL-6 may participate along with IL-1 in fine tuning of the catabolism of connective tissue components, by modulating the balance between connective tissue-degrading enzymes and their inhibitors.

Original publication




Journal article


Arthritis Rheum

Publication Date





1197 - 1201


Arthritis, Rheumatoid, Collagen, Connective Tissue, Extracellular Matrix, Fibroblasts, Glycoproteins, Glycosaminoglycans, Humans, Interleukin-1, Interleukin-6, Metalloendopeptidases, Plasminogen Activator Inhibitor 1, Synovial Membrane, Tissue Inhibitor of Metalloproteinases, Urokinase-Type Plasminogen Activator