Increased Circulating Levels of Interleukin-6 Affect the Redox Balance in Skeletal Muscle

Laura Forcina, Carmen Miano, Bianca M Scicchitano, Emanuele Rizzuto, Maria Grazia Berardinelli, Fabrizio De Benedetti, Laura Pelosi, Antonio Musarò

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The extent of oxidative stress and chronic inflammation are closely related events which coexist in a muscle environment under pathologic conditions. It has been generally accepted that the inflammatory cells, as well as myofibers, are sources of reactive species which are, in turn, able to amplify the activation of proinflammatory pathways. However, the precise mechanism underlining the physiopathologic interplay between ROS generation and inflammatory response has to be fully clarified. Thus, the identification of key molecular players in the interconnected pathogenic network between the two processes might help to design more specific therapeutic approaches for degenerative diseases. Here, we investigated whether elevated circulating levels of the proinflammatory cytokine Interleukin-6 (IL-6) are sufficient to perturb the physiologic redox balance in skeletal muscle, independently of tissue damage and inflammatory response. We observed that the overexpression of circulating IL-6 enhances the generation and accumulation of free radicals in the diaphragm muscle of adult NSE/IL-6 mice, by deregulating redox-associated molecular circuits and impinging the nuclear factor erythroid 2-related factor 2- (Nrf2-) mediated antioxidant response. Our findings are coherent with a model in which uncontrolled levels of IL-6 in the bloodstream can influence the local redox homeostasis, inducing the establishment of prooxidative conditions in skeletal muscle tissue.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3018584
Number of pages1
JournalOxidative Medicine and Cellular Longevity
Publication statusPublished - 2019


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