Anti-IL-6 Versus Anti-IL-6R Blocking Antibodies to Treat Acute Ebola Infection in BALB/c Mice: Potential Implications for Treating Cytokine Release Syndrome

Reid Rubsamen, Scott Burkholz, Christopher Massey, Trevor Brasel, Tom Hodge, Lu Wang, Charles Herst, Richard Carback, Paul Harris

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations

Abstract

Cytokine release syndrome (CRS) is known to be a factor in morbidity and mortality associated with acute viral infections including those caused by filoviruses and coronaviruses. IL-6 has been implicated as a cytokine negatively associated with survival after filovirus and coronavirus infection. However, IL-6 has also been shown to be an important mediator of innate immunity and important for the host response to an acute viral infection. Clinical studies are now being conducted by various researchers to evaluate the possible role of IL-6 blockers to improve outcomes in critically ill patients with CRS. Most of these studies involve the use of anti-IL-6R monoclonal antibodies (α-IL-6R mAbs). We present data showing that direct neutralization of IL-6 with an α-IL-6 mAb in a BALB/c Ebolavirus (EBOV) challenge model produced a statistically significant improvement in outcome compared with controls when administered within the first 24 h of challenge and repeated every 72 h. A similar effect was seen in mice treated with the same dose of α-IL-6R mAb when the treatment was delayed 48 h post-challenge. These data suggest that direct neutralization of IL-6, early during the course of infection, may provide additional clinical benefits to IL-6 receptor blockade alone during treatment of patients with virus-induced CRS.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number574703
JournalFrontiers in Pharmacology
Volume11
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 23 2020

Keywords

  • Anti-IL-6
  • Anti-IL-6R
  • COVID-19
  • Ebola (EBOV)
  • SARS-CoV-2
  • cytokine release syndrome

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology
  • Pharmacology (medical)

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