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IL-6: A Potential Role in Cardiac Metabolic Homeostasis

1, 2,* and 2,*
Division of Cancer, Department of Surgery and Cancer, Imperial College London, London W120NN, UK
State Key laboratory of Natural Medicines, Department of Biochemistry, School of Life Science and Technology, China Pharmaceutical University, Nanjing 210006, China
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2018, 19(9), 2474;
Received: 15 July 2018 / Revised: 9 August 2018 / Accepted: 13 August 2018 / Published: 21 August 2018
PDF [1399 KB, uploaded 21 August 2018]


Interleukin-6 (IL-6) is implicated in multiple biological functions including immunity, neural development, and haematopoiesis. Recently, mounting evidence indicates that IL-6 plays a key role in metabolism, especially lipid metabolic homeostasis. A working heart requires a high and constant energy input which is largely generated by fatty acid (FA) β-oxidation. Under pathological conditions, the precise balance between cardiac FA uptake and metabolism is perturbed so that excessive FA is accumulated, thereby predisposing to myocardial dysfunction (cardiac lipotoxicity). In this review, we summarize the current evidence that suggests the involvement of IL-6 in lipid metabolism. Cardiac metabolic features and consequences of myocardial lipotoxicity are also briefly analyzed. Finally, the roles of IL-6 in cardiac FA uptake (i.e., serum lipid profile and myocardial FA transporters) and FA metabolism (namely, β-oxidation, mitochondrial function, biogenesis, and FA de novo synthesis) are discussed. Overall, understanding how IL-6 transmits signals to affect lipid metabolism in the heart might allow for development of better clinical therapies for obesity-associated cardiac lipotoxicity. View Full-Text
Keywords: interleukin-6 (IL-6); lipid metabolism; cardiac lipotoxicity; mitochondrial dysfunction interleukin-6 (IL-6); lipid metabolism; cardiac lipotoxicity; mitochondrial dysfunction

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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

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Xu, Y.; Zhang, Y.; Ye, J. IL-6: A Potential Role in Cardiac Metabolic Homeostasis. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2018, 19, 2474.

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