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Type II diabetes mellitus (T2DM) and insulin resistance (IR) are associated with a systemic, chronic inflammatory response.1 Indeed, inflammatory markers such as interleukin 6 (IL-6) or C-reactive protein are independent risk factors for T2DM.2 Recent studies suggest that IL-6 is involved in the pathology of T2DM-related IR.3 Chronic exposure to IL-6 impairs insulin signalling in hepatocytes and adipocytes by stimulating the suppressor of cytokine signalling-1.3 4 Acute IL-6 infusion increases insulin sensitivity in muscle. The action of IL-6 on glucose homoeostasis is complex.
Although the influence of anti-tumour necrosis factor5 6 and anti-IL-1 treatments7 on glucose homoeostasis has been reported, no reports of the influence of anti-IL-6 treatment in humans have been published. We report that HbA1c decreased in diabetic patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) who were treated with a humanised anti-IL-6 antibody, tocilizumab (TCZ). …