Application of the ELISPOT method for comparative analysis of interleukin (IL)-6 and IL-10 secretion in peripheral blood of patients with astroglial tumors

Mol Cell Biochem. 2007 Oct;304(1-2):343-51. doi: 10.1007/s11010-007-9517-3. Epub 2007 Jun 6.


Glioblastoma, (grade IV astrocytoma), is characterized by rapid growth and resistance to treatment. Identification of markers of aggressiveness in this tumor could represent new therapeutic targets. Interleukins (IL)-6 and IL-10 may be considered as possible candidates, regulating cell growth, resistance to chemotherapy and angiogenesis. ELISPOT method provides a useful tool for the determination of the exact cell number of peripheral lymphocytes secreting a specific cytokine. IL-6 and IL-10 secretion levels were determined using ELISPOT methodology in peripheral blood mononuclear cells of 18 patients with astrocytic neoplasms (3 grade II and 15 grade IV), in parallel with 18 healthy controls. Additionally, immunohistochemical expression of these two cytokines was performed in paraffin-embedded neoplastic tissue in 12 of these patients. The secretion of IL-6 from peripheral monocytes was significantly higher in glioma patients compared to controls (P = 0.0003). In addition, IL-10 secretion from peripheral mononuclear and tumor cells of glioma patients was also higher as compared to healthy controls (P = 0.0002). Based on immunohistochemical staining, IL-6 expression was localized in tumor cells and macrophages as well as in areas of large ischemic necrosis, while the major source of IL-10 expression in glioblastomas was the microglia/macrophage cells. It is suggested that IL-10 contributes to the progression of astrocytomas by suppressing the patient's immune response, whereas IL-6 provides an additional growth advantage. This study demonstrates for the first time the usefulness of ELISPOT in estimating the secretion of IL-6 and IL-10 from peripheral blood and the correlation of their expression in neoplastic cells.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Evaluation Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Astrocytoma / blood*
  • Brain Neoplasms / blood*
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay / methods*
  • Female
  • Glioblastoma / blood
  • Humans
  • Interleukin-10 / blood*
  • Interleukin-10 / metabolism*
  • Interleukin-6 / blood*
  • Interleukin-6 / metabolism*
  • Leukocytes / metabolism
  • Male
  • Middle Aged


  • IL10 protein, human
  • IL6 protein, human
  • Interleukin-6
  • Interleukin-10