The Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, Chicago,
have provided evidence that targeting IL-6 might decrease the risk of heart problems caused by exposure to particulate matter or air pollutants.
The natural characteristic of the atmosphere is changed by air pollution caused by any particulate matter, chemical, or biological. Increased risk of heart attack and heart problems is linked to exposure to particulate matter.
Mice exposed to particulate matter were shown to have decreased bleeding times, accelerated blood clotting, and accelerated formation of an arterial thrombus. As these effects of exposure to particulate matter were not observed in mice lacking IL-6 or depleted of lung macrophages, the authors suggested that particulate matter triggers lung macrophages to produce IL-6 that then mediates altered blood clotting and enhanced thrombus formation. This study provides evidence to suggest that targeting IL-6 might decrease the risk of heart problems caused by exposure to particulate matter.