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.