J Clin Pathol 53:388-390 doi:10.1136/jcp.53.5.388

The importance of IL-6 protein expression in primary human renal cell carcinoma: an immunohistochemical study

  1. Bernard Paule1,
  2. Jacqueline Belot2,
  3. Christiane Rudant3,
  4. Colette Coulombel3,
  5. Claude Clément Abbou1
  1. 1Service d'Urologie, Hopital Henri Mondor, 51 Avenue du Maréchal de Lattre de Tassigny, 94010 Créteil, France
  2. 2Service d'Anatomo-pathologie, Hopital Henri Mondor
  3. 3UFR Biomédicale UPR 37, Régulation de l'expression des Génes, CNRS, 45 Rue des Saint- Péres, 75006 Paris, France
  1. Dr Paulerpaule{at}
  • Accepted 5 October 1999


Aims—Interleukin 6 (IL-6) is produced by some renal carcinoma cell lines in vitro. This might be biologically important because IL-6 is a cytokine of particular interest, owing to its involvement in the growth of renal cell carcinoma. In this study, the expression of IL-6 protein in tissue samples from primary renal cell carcinoma was analysed, and then its clinical importance was examined.

Methods—The distribution of IL-6 in renal cell carcinoma was examined by means of an immunohistochemical method in 47 untreated primary renal cell carcinoma samples. The search for a significant difference between histological patterns, Furhman's grading system, TNM classification, and IL-6 protein expression was carried out.

Results—Immunohistochemistry demonstrated that IL-6 is expressed in 70% of primary tumours. There was no significant difference in the tumour size and grade between renal cell carcinomas with or without IL-6 expression. However, a relatively large number of high grade tumours expressed IL-6.

Conclusion—The importance of IL-6 expression with regard to tumour size/local growth is questionable because IL-6 has been correlated with the development of metastatic disease. These data suggest that the production of IL-6 could exert a growth inhibitory effect on primary renal cell carcinoma.