Interleukin-6 autoantibodies are involved in the pathogenesis of a subset of type 2 diabetes.

Fosgerau, K., Galle, P., Hansen, T., Albrechtsen, A., Rieper Cde, L., Pedersen, B.K., Larsen, L.K., Thomsen, A.R., Pedersen, O., Hansen, M.B., Steensberg, A.
Journal   J Endocrinol.
Species  
Analytes Measured   Akt , IR , IRS-1
Matrix Tested   Liver and muscle tissue lysates
Year   2010
Volume   204
Page Numbers   265-73
Application   Phosphoproteins
Abstract
Interleukin-6 (IL6) is critically involved in inflammation and metabolism. About 1% of people produce IL6 autoantibodies (aAb-IL6) that impair IL6 signaling in vivo. We tested the hypothesis that the prevalence of such aAb-IL6 is increased in type 2 diabetic patients and that aAb-IL6 plays a direct role in causing hyperglycemia. In humans, the prevalence of circulating high-affinity neutralizing aAb-IL6 was 2.5% in the type 2 diabetic patients and 1% in the controls (odds ratio 2.5, 95% confidence interval 1.2-4.9, P=0.01). To test for the role of aAb-IL6 in causing hyperglycemia, such aAb-IL6 were induced in mice by a validated vaccination procedure. Mice with plasma levels of aAb-IL6 similar to the 2.5% type 2 diabetic patients developed obesity and impaired glucose tolerance (area under the curve (AUC) glucose, 2056+/-62 vs 1793+/-62, P=0.05) as compared with sham-vaccinated mice, when challenged with a high-fat diet. Mice with very high plasma levels of aAb-IL6 developed elevated fasting plasma glucose (mM, 4.8+/-0.4 vs 3.3+/-0.1, P<0.001) and impaired glucose tolerance (AUC glucose, 1340+/-38 vs 916+/-25, P<0.001) as compared with sham-control mice on normal chow. In conclusion, the prevalence of plasma aAb-IL6 at levels known to impair IL6 signaling in vivo is increased 2.5-fold in people with type 2 diabetes. In mice, matching levels of aAb-IL6 cause obesity and hyperglycemia. These data suggest that a small subset of type 2 diabetes may in part evolve from an autoimmune attack against IL6.

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