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Circ Res. 1994 Jul;75(1):1-7.

Interleukin-8. A mitogen and chemoattractant for vascular smooth muscle cells.

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  • 1Department of Cardiovascular Pharmacology, Smith-Kline Beecham Pharmaceuticals, King of Prussia, Pa. 19406-0939.


Interleukin-8 (IL-8) is a chemokine produced by a variety of cell types involved in atherogenesis and is chemotactic for neutrophils and lymphocytes. A recent study has shown that IL-8 is angiogenic and induces proliferation and chemotaxis of endothelial cells. The present study was undertaken to find out whether IL-8 is also mitogenic and chemotactic for vascular smooth muscle cells. IL-8 induced a concentration-dependent (0.1 to 10 nmol/L) stimulation of DNA synthesis and cell proliferation in both human and rat aortic smooth muscle cells. In addition, IL-8 stimulated smooth muscle cells to produce prostaglandin E2, which can inhibit IL-8-induced smooth muscle cell proliferation. In the presence of indomethacin (5 mumol/L), IL-8 (1 nmol/L) stimulated an increase in human and rat aortic smooth muscle cell number during a 3-day period of incubation by 61 +/- 16% and 59 +/- 7% (n = 4), respectively. IL-8 also increased DNA synthesis in human and rat aortic smooth muscle cells by 98 +/- 10% and 151 +/- 27% (n = 5), respectively. Moreover, IL-8 stimulated rat aortic smooth muscle cell migration by 20-fold over the control value, with an EC50 value of 0.83 nmol/L; this chemotactic activity of IL-8 was also potentiated by indomethacin. Exposure of smooth muscle cells to IL-8 caused rapid and transient expression of the immediate-early genes c-fos and zif268 mRNA.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

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