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Am J Pathol. 1997 Sep;151(3):689-96.

Defective development of pristane-oil-induced plasmacytomas in interleukin-6-deficient BALB/c mice.

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Dipartimento di Patologia Umana e Medicina Sociale, Università di Chieti, Italy.


Interleukin (IL)-6 is known to be an essential growth factor for myeloma cells, both in vitro and in vivo. In mice, IL-6 is required for development of B cell tumors upon infection with a retrovirus expressing the myc/raf oncogenes. In the present study, we used the pristane-oil-induced plasmacytoma model, which more closely mimics tumor transformation and progression in human multiple myeloma. Also using this system, we found that IL-6-deficient BALB/c mice are protected against tumor development. Although the pristane-induced inflammatory reaction was less pronounced in IL-6-deficient mice versus their wild-type littermates, both B cell differentiation and plasma cell formation took place, and even morphological evidence of plasma cell transformation was detected, albeit at a low frequency. However, in the absence of IL-6, there were never signs of uncontrolled proliferation of either normal B lymphocytes or tumor cells, suggesting that the role of IL-6 in murine plasmacytoma and possibly also in human multiple myeloma is to ensure abnormal survival and proliferation of previously transformed tumor cells and therefore tumor development and progression.

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