IL-6 blockade in the management of non-infectious uveitis

Giuseppe Lopalco, Claudia Fabiani, Jurgen Sota, Orso Maria Lucherini, Gian Marco Tosi, Bruno Frediani, Florenzo Iannone, Mauro Galeazzi, Rossella Franceschini, Donato Rigante, Luca Cantarini

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Several pathogenetic studies have paved the way for a newer more rational therapeutic approach to non-infectious uveitis, and treatment of different forms of immune-driven uveitis has drastically evolved in recent years after the advent of biotechnological drugs. Tumor necrosis factor-α targeted therapies, the first-line recommended biologics in uveitis, have certainly led to remarkable results in patients with non-infectious uveitis. Nevertheless, the decision-making process turns out to be extremely difficult in anti-tumor necrosis factor or multidrug-resistant cases. Interleukin (IL)-6 holds a critical role in the pathogenic pathways of uveitis, due to its extended and protean range of effects. On this background, manipulation of IL-6 inflammatory cascade has unraveled encouraging outcomes. For instance, rising evidence has been achieved regarding the successful use of tocilizumab, the humanized monoclonal antibody targeted against the IL-6 receptor, in treating uveitis related to juvenile idiopathic arthritis or Behçet’s disease. Similar findings have also been reported for uveitis associated with systemic disorders, such as rheumatoid arthritis or multicentric Castleman disease, but also for idiopathic uveitis, the rare birdshot chorioretinopathy, and even in cases complicated by macular edema. This work provides a digest of all current experiences and evidences concerning IL-6 blockade, as suggested by the medical literature, proving its potential role in the management of non-infectious uveitis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1459-1469
Number of pages11
JournalClinical Rheumatology
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - Jul 1 2017


  • Biologics
  • Interleukin (IL)-6
  • Macular edema
  • Tocilizumab
  • Uveitis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Rheumatology

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