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Interleukin 6 (IL-6), also known as interferon-beta 2, 26-kDa protein, B cell stimulatory factor-2 (BSF-2), hybridoma/plasmacytoma growth factor, hepatocyte stimulating factor, cytotoxic T cell differentiation factor, and macrophage-granulocyte inducing factor 2A (MGI-2A), is a multi-functional protein that plays important roles in host defense, acute phase reactions, immune responses, and hematopoiesis. IL-6 is expressed by a variety of normal and transformed cells including T cells, B cells, monocytes/macrophages, fibroblasts, hepatocytes, keratinocytes, astrocytes, vascular endothelial cells, and various tumor cells.
It is upregulated by IL1, TNF, PDGF, IFN beta, TNF alpha, NGF, IL17 and downregulated by glucocorticoids IL4, TGF beta. IL6 appears to be directly involved in the responses that occur after infection and cellular injury, and it may prove to be as important as IL1 and TNF alpha in regulating the acute phase response. IL6 has also been implicated in regulating adipose mass.
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