Interleukin-6 inhibition in the management of non-infectious uveitis and beyond


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Karkhur S., Hasanreisoglu M., Vigil E., Halim M. S. , Hassan M., Plaza C., ...More

JOURNAL OF OPHTHALMIC INFLAMMATION AND INFECTION, vol.9, no.1, 2019 (ESCI) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Review
  • Volume: 9 Issue: 1
  • Publication Date: 2019
  • Doi Number: 10.1186/s12348-019-0182-y
  • Journal Name: JOURNAL OF OPHTHALMIC INFLAMMATION AND INFECTION
  • Journal Indexes: Emerging Sources Citation Index (ESCI), Scopus
  • Keywords: Uveitis, Interleukin-6, Newer biologics, Non-infectious uveitis, Tocilizumab, Steroid-sparing therapy, Immunomodulatory therapy, Biological therapy, Interleukin-6 inhibition, ENDOTHELIAL GROWTH-FACTOR, ANTI-INTERLEUKIN-6 RECEPTOR ANTIBODY, MODIFYING ANTIRHEUMATIC DRUGS, ACTIVE RHEUMATOID-ARTHRITIS, PLASMA-CELL DIFFERENTIATION, SUBCUTANEOUS TOCILIZUMAB, TARGETING INTERLEUKIN-6, MONOCLONAL-ANTIBODY, INADEQUATE RESPONSE, DOUBLE-BLIND
  • Gazi University Affiliated: No

Abstract

Background Uveitis consists of a spectrum of inflammatory disorders characterized by ocular inflammation. The underlying pathophysiology consists of a complex interplay of various inflammatory pathways. Interleukin 6 is an important mediator of inflammation in uveitis and constitutes focus of research toward development of newer biological therapies in the management of non-infectious uveitis. Main body Pan-blockade of the inflammatory pathways with steroids is generally the first step in the management of acute non-infectious uveitis. However, long-term therapy with steroids is associated with systemic and ocular side effects, thereby necessitating the need for development of steroid sparing agents. IL-6 is a cytokine produced by various immune cells, in response to molecular patterns and affects multiple inflammatory cells. In particular, IL-6 is involved in differentiation of CD-4 cells into Th-17 cells that have been shown to play a significant role in various immune-mediated diseases such as uveitis. This broad-spectrum immunomodulatory activity makes IL-6 an excellent target for immunomodulatory therapy. Tocilizumab was the first IL-6 inhibitor to demonstrate efficacy in humans. It inhibits IL-6 from binding to both membrane-bound and soluble receptor and can be administered via intravenous (IV) and subcutaneous (SC) routes. It has been FDA approved for treatment of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA). Following the approval in systemic diseases, its efficacy was demonstrated in various uveitis studies including a phase 2 clinical trial (STOP-Uveitis). Overall, tocilizumab has shown a good safety profile with the risk of malignancy consistent with that expected in patients with rheumatoid arthritis. However, tocilizumab therapy has been shown to increase the risk for gastrointestinal perforation and dose-dependent neutropenia. Following the success of tocilizumab, several other agents targeting the IL-6 pathway are in the pipeline. These include sirukumab, siltuximab, olokizumab, clazakizumab, and EBI-031 which target IL-6; Sarilumab and ALX-0061 act on the IL-6 receptor. Conclusion Studies have shown that IL-6 inhibitors can be effective in the management of NIU. In addition, the levels of IL-6 are elevated in other ocular vascular diseases such as retinal vein occlusion and diabetic macular edema. The roles of IL-6 inhibition may be broadened in the future to include the management of retinal vascular diseases and non-uveitic macular edema.