Differential expression of interleukins IL-13 and IL-15 in normal ovarian tissue and ovarian carcinomas

Gynecol Oncol. 2004 Mar;92(3):761-8. doi: 10.1016/j.ygyno.2003.12.011.


Objective: To determine the temporal and spatial expression of interleukins (IL)-13 and IL-15 in ovarian carcinoma compared to normal ovarian tissue.

Methods: Quantitative RT-PCR, ELISA and immunohistochemistry.

Results: Q-RT-PCR, ELISA and immunohistochemical analysis indicates that IL-13 and IL-15 mRNA and protein are expressed in normal ovary at various phases of the menstrual cycle with immunoreactive proteins detected in granulosa/theca and luteal cells and to a lesser extent in stromal cells and surface epithelial cells. Compared to normal ovary, ovarian carcinoma expresses elevated levels of IL-13 and IL-15 mRNA, with higher IL-13 expression in primary vs. metastatic tumors. IL-13 and IL-15 protein expression was also higher in the tumor tissues compared to ascites. In normal ovary, ovarian tumors and ascites, the ratio of IL-13/IL-15 favored IL-13. Immunoreactive IL-13 and IL-15 proteins were localized primarily in the tumor cells and infiltrated inflammatory cells with increased intensity with disease stage.

Conclusion: Normal ovary and ovarian tumors express IL-13 and IL-15 and pattern of their expression in carcinomas suggests that these cytokines may function in various ovarian cellular activities including inflammatory/immune responses that are integrated cellular events taking place in normal ovary and ovarian tumors.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Ascites / immunology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Interleukin-13 / biosynthesis*
  • Interleukin-13 / genetics
  • Interleukin-13 / immunology
  • Interleukin-15 / biosynthesis*
  • Interleukin-15 / genetics
  • Interleukin-15 / immunology
  • Menstrual Cycle / immunology
  • Ovarian Neoplasms / genetics
  • Ovarian Neoplasms / immunology*
  • Ovary / immunology*
  • Ovary / physiology
  • RNA, Messenger / biosynthesis
  • RNA, Messenger / genetics
  • Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction


  • Interleukin-13
  • Interleukin-15
  • RNA, Messenger