Interleukin 6 (IL-6) is a molecule that is produced by a range of cells and plays a central role in the immune system, especially by inducing inflammatory responses to injury and infection. IL-6 is also known as a "cytokine", which is a signaling protein that is secreted by the cells in the nervous system and other systems and functions in intracellular communication. IL-6 can be secreted by many different cells including fibroblasts, monoctyes, macrophages, T-cells, and some tumor cells. When secreted, IL-6 increases production of fibrinogen, an important clotting factor in tissue injury. It also stimulates antibody-like acute phase reactants such as C-reactive protein, mannose-binding protein, ferritin, ceruloplasmin, serum amyloid A and haptoglobin, all of which have different functions within the immune response.
Why It’s Done?
IL-6 testing is used to aid in the diagnosis of various autoimmune or inflammatory diseases, in the diagnosis of organ transplant rejection, and in the diagnosis of bacterial meningitis or systemic lupus erythematosus. The test is performed on blood drawn from a vein in the patient’s arm, or on cerebral spinal fluid acquired via spinal tap, or in synovial fluid found around the joints. Additional tests may include Tumor Necrosis Factor-a, CRP, Ferritin, Rheumatoid Factor, CSF cell count and culture, ceruloplasmin, and haptoglobin.
What’s Normal Range of IL-6?
Reference ranges and specimen collection vary from test method and laboratories performing this test. To properly evaluate your test results, consult with the ordering physician or healthcare provider. If you would like to learn more about this test, you email to firstname.lastname@example.org for further information.