Int J Med Sci 2021; 18(6):1356-1362. doi:10.7150/ijms.53564 This issue

Review

Role of IL-6 inhibitor in treatment of COVID-19-related cytokine release syndrome

Peng Du1*, Jie Geng2*, Feng Wang3, Xiaobo Chen4, Zhiwei Huang2, Yuliang Wang5✉

1. Clinical Laboratory of Emergency Medicine, Tianjin Union Medical Centre, Tianjin, China.
2. Graduate School of Tianjin Medical University, Tianjin, China.
3. Department of Genetics, School of Basic Medical Sciences, Tianjin Medical University, Tianjin, China.
4. Unicell Life Science Development Co., Ltd, Tianjin, China.
5. Department of Clinical Laboratory Medicine, the Second Hospital of Tianjin Medical University, Tianjin Institute of Urology, Tianjin, China.
* These authors contributed equally in this manuscript.

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Citation:
Du P, Geng J, Wang F, Chen X, Huang Z, Wang Y. Role of IL-6 inhibitor in treatment of COVID-19-related cytokine release syndrome. Int J Med Sci 2021; 18(6):1356-1362. doi:10.7150/ijms.53564. Available from https://www.medsci.org/v18p1356.htm

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Abstract

Graphic abstract

Cytokine release syndrome (CRS) may be the key factor in the pathology of severe coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). As a major driver in triggering CRS in patients with COVID-19, interleukin-6 (IL-6) appears to be a promising target for therapeutics. The results of inhibiting both trans- and classical- signaling with marketed IL-6 inhibitors (tocilizumab, siltuximab and sarilumab) in severe COVID-19 patients are effective based on several small studies and case reports thus far. In this review, we described the evidence of the IL-6 response in patients with COVID-19, clarified the pathogenesis of the role of IL-6-mediated CRS in severe COVID-19, and highlighted the rationale for the use of anti-IL-6 agents and key information regarding the potential features of these IL-6 inhibitors in COVID-19 patients.

Keywords: COVID-19, cytokine release syndrome, interleukin-6, interleukin-6 inhibitor.