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Research Project: Countermeasures to Control and Eradicate Foreign Animal Diseases of Swine

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Title: The role of interleukin 6 during viral infections

item VELAZQUEZ-SALINAS, LAURO - Kansas State University
item VERDUGO-RODRIGUEZ, ANTONIO - The National Autonomous University Of Mexico
item Rodriguez, Luis
item Borca, Manuel

Submitted to: Frontiers in Microbiology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 4/26/2019
Publication Date: 5/10/2019
Citation: Velazquez-Salinas, L., Verdugo-Rodriguez, A., Rodriguez, L.L., Borca, M.V. 2019. The role of interleukin 6 during viral infections. Frontiers in Microbiology.

Interpretive Summary: In this publication, we reviewed the biological effects of Interleukin 6 (IL-6) during the response to a viral infection. Interestingly, although IL-6 seems to play an essential role during the immune response against different viral entities, we found evidence that in some occasions, an unbalance during the immune response can produce the up-regulation of IL-6, compromising viral clearance, and ultimately promoting viral persistence. All different mechanisms regarding the by how IL-6 might negatively affect the immune response against viruses are covered in this opinion report.

Technical Abstract: Our recently published research on the characterization of vesicular stomatitis virus (VSV) pathogenesis in swine, identified a systemic upregulation of interleukin 6 (IL-6) during the acute phase of infection (Velazquez-Salinas et al., 2018). This upregulation was observed during infection with a highly virulent VSV strain, suggesting a potential association between IL-6 levels and virus virulence in pigs. In this opinion note we would like to explore in more detail the biological functions of IL-6 in different virus models and present our perspective regarding the debatable role of IL-6 during viral infections. While several studies show the essential role of IL-6 to mount a proper immune response during some viral infections, others link this cytokine with exacerbation of viral disease. These latter findings lend support to the hypothesis that upregulation of IL-6 during certain viral infections may promote virus survival and/or exacerbation of clinical disease.