- In this study, we examined the cellular origin and the expression levels of interleukin-6 (IL-6) during normal maturation of mouse testis. The levels of IL-6 (protein and mRNA) were higher in testicular homogenates of sexually immature than mature mice. Immunohistochemical staining of testicular tissues of sexually immature and adult mice show that testicular germ cells, at different stages of differentiation, Leydig cells/interstitial cells and peritubular cells express IL-6. Our results demonstrate, for the first time, overexpression of IL-6 in testicular tissues of immature mice, as compared to mature mice, as well as the expression of IL-6 in germ cells of testicular tissues of adult and sexually immature mice. Thus, our results may indicate the involvement of the endocrine system (gonadotropins and testosterone) in the regulation of IL-6, which is involved in the regulation of testicular development, functions and spermatogenesis.