BACKGROUND Sepsis and endotoxemia are associated with increased production of interleukin-6 (IL-6) in gut mucosa. Mucosal IL-6 may regulate enterocyte acute phase protein synthesis and intestinal IgA production. In addition, increased IL-6 has been proposed to be a mechanism of loss of mucosal integrity in critical illness. The purpose of this review is to describe current knowledge of the regulation of IL-6 production in the enterocyte/mucosa during inflammation caused by sepsis and endotoxemia. DATA SOURCES Recent publications describing the influence of sepsis, endotoxemia, and proinflammatory cytokines on mucosal/enterocyte IL-6 production. CONCLUSIONS IL-6 production is increased in gut mucosa during sepsis and endotoxemia and in cultured enterocytes after treatment with endotoxin or proinflammatory cytokines. The IL-6 gene is regulated by multiple transcription factors, including NF-kappaB, AP-1, and C/EBP. Because of the multiple important biological roles of IL-6, understanding the cellular and molecular mechanisms of mucosal/enterocyte IL-6 production as well as methods to modulate IL-6 production is of clinical importance in the setting of sepsis and other critical illness.