Pituitary adenomas are frequently invasive of surrounding tissues, which adversely affects the surgical outcome and the disease-free survival of patients. In the present study, Interleukin 4 receptor (IL-4R) complex has been investigated to figure out whether the three subunits are overexpressed in human invasive pituitary adenomas. Reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) analysis for interleukin 4 receptor alpha (IL-4Ralpha), interleukin 13 receptor alpha1 (IL-13Ralpha1), interleukin 2 receptor gammac (IL-2Rgammac) were performed on total RNA extracted from 10 non-invasive pituitary adenomas, 30 invasive pituitary adenomas, one glioblastoma multiforme, one normal human pituitary tissue sample and one normal human brain tissue sample. Quantitative real-time PCR and in situ immunofluorescence assay were performed in five invasive functioning pituitary adenoma samples and five invasive nonfunctioning pituitary adenoma samples. RT-PCR analysis for IL-4Ralpha, IL-13Ralpha1 and IL-2Rgammac chains were overexpressed in invasive pituitary adenomas. The transcripts for three subunits were not/weakly expressed in normal pituitary tissue and normal brain tissue. The quantitative real-time PCR and in situ immunofluorescence assay confirmed the results of the RT-PCR analysis. Our results indicate that human invasive pituitary adenomas express type III IL-4R complex. These receptors may serve as a novel target for immunotoxin therapy in patients with invasive pituitary adenomas who are not amenable to total surgical resection or for recurrent cases.