Interleukin-6 (IL-6) is a growth factor with diverse biologic activity. Originally described as a T-cell product that enhances immunoglobulin (Ig) secretion in antigen-stimulated B cells, it also affects the growth of T cells, plasmacytomas, hybridomas, and hematopoietic stem cells. We report the expression and secretion of IL-6 by two lymphoma cell lines, OCI-LY3 and OCI-LY12. Addition of recombinant IL-6 stimulated their growth, whereas addition of polyclonal anti- recombinant IL-6 (anti-rIL-6) had a marked inhibitory effect on proliferation. These results suggest an autocrine role for IL-6 in the growth of these lymphoma cells in culture.