Pretreatment increases liver transplant survival

Pretreating transplanted livers with the immune molecule interleukin-6 (IL-6) dramatically increased survival of rats receiving organs with fatty degeneration–a common condition in humans that typically reduces transplant viability. The results suggest a means of making it possible to use a higher percentage of available donor livers for transplantation in humans. With over three times as many Americans needing transplants as there are available donor livers, an effective approach to increasing the number of viable donor organs would help narrow the gap between demand and supply.

Interleukin-6 May Lead to Drugs That Prevent Brain Injury From Diseases, Aging

A Mayo Clinic investigation of Interleukin-6, a hormone inside cells often considered a “bad actor” of the immune system because of its association with inflammation injuries and malignant diseases, shows that it also plays a therapeutic role in mice: it protects brain cells. Interleukin-6 — called IL-6 for short by researchers — may, in fact, be a “white knight” for mouse brain cells, or neurons, as brain cells also are called. These results, while early, may be promising for humans as well. The Mayo Clinic investigation is described in the Jan. 15 Journal of Neuroscience.