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Neurosurg Rev. 1992;15(3):203-7.

Neoplastic and reactive human astrocytes express interleukin-8 gene.

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  • 1Department of Neurology and Genetics, Stanford University School of Medicine.


Expression of lymphokine genes in the human astroglial cell lineage was studied. Primers for 9 different human lymphokines, from IL-1 alpha to IL-8, were used to analyze RNA transcripts in 5 cultured human astrocytoma cell lines and fresh brain specimens by PCR. mRNA transcripts for IL-8 were detected in all neuroglial cells. In addition to the cultured cells, we examined IL-8 gene expression within human malignant astrocytoma, peritumoral brain and autopsied normal brains. The result shows that tumor and cells of the surrounding reactive lesion express IL-8 genes, but it is not expressed in normal brains. Next, the concentration of IL-8 in supernatants of cultured cells was measured quantitatively by a solid phase ELISA assay. IL-8 activity was produced constitutively in all astrocytomas and increased markedly upon stimulation with IL-1 beta or TNF alpha, in both a time- and dose-dependent fashion. From these results, it is suspected that astroglial cell-derived IL-8 may take part in neutrophil-mediated inflammation which accompanies infection, degeneration and malignancy in the brain.

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