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Am J Pathol. 1996 Apr;148(4):1229-36.

Interleukin-8 in Hodgkin's disease. Preferential expression by reactive cells and association with neutrophil density.

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  • 1Institut für Pathologie, Klinikum Benjamin Franklin, Free University of Berlin, Germany.


Hodgkin's disease (HD) shows rare neoplastic Hodgkin and Reed-Sternberg cells embedded in an abundant reactive infiltrate containing, among other cell types, neutrophilic granulocytes. Interleukin (IL)-8 is chemotactic for neutrophils. The expression of IL-8 was tested by in situ hybridization with 35S-labeled IL-8-specific RNA probes on 38 cases of HD. Reactive lesions, non-Hodgkin's lymphomas of B and T phenotype, and Langerhans cell histiocytosis served as controls. IL-8 expression was observed in Hodgkin and Reed-Sternberg cells in 3 of 33 cases of classical HD and in reactive cells in 20 of 33 HD cases as evidenced by combined isotopic in situ hybridization and immunohistology for the demonstration of cell-type-characteristic antigens or enzyme histochemistry for chloroacetate esterase. IL-8-positive cells were more numerous in cases of nodular sclerosing HD as compared with the mixed cellularity histotype (P = 0.01). The number of IL-8-positive cells and the density of neutrophils were positively correlated (P < 0. 01). In 5 cases of lymphocyte-predominant HD, IL-8 expression was not displayed. Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma cases contained IL-8 transcripts only in 1 of 23 cases in sparse reactive cells. In 4 of 7 cases of Langerhans cell histiocytosis, IL-8-specific signals were displayed in S100-negative cells. In conclusion, IL-8 expression in HD is largely confined to reactive cells and associated with infiltration by neutrophils. Elaboration of other cytokines by Hodgkin and Reed-Sternberg cells and reactive cells may explain the frequent expression of this cytokine in HD, particularly in the nodular sclerosing type.

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