Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a common inflammatory form of arthritis leading to the progressive bone and joint destruction. Many factors are closely involved in the pathology of RA, in particular bone-related cells and inflammatory cytokines such as TNF-α and interleukin-6 (IL-6). Because RA patients with progressive bone destruction experience an accelerated decrease in their quality of life, inhibition of disease progression and bone destruction by means of drugs targeting inflammatory cytokines has become an important clinical goal. Recent studies have also found that drug intervention targeting proinflammatory cytokines such as IL-6 results in bone repair in addition to suppression of bone and joint destruction, and these results suggest the potential for new therapeutic goals. Regarding the relationship between IL-6 and bone destruction, many studies on osteoclasts have been published over many years; however, more recent studies have explored the relationship of IL-6 with osteoblasts and osteocytes. In this review, we highlight the perspectives of basic and clinical research, adding new findings on the relationships between IL-6 and bone-related cells associated with inflammation, and the possibility of bone repair by blocking IL-6.
Copyright © 2021. Published by Elsevier B.V.