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J Immunol. 1998 Feb 15;160(4):1944-8.

Cytokine regulation of human microglial cell IL-8 production.

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  • 1Neuroimmunobiology and Host Defense Laboratory, Minneapolis Medical Research Foundation, MN 55404, USA.


IL-8 involvement in neutrophil activation and chemotaxis may be important in inflammatory responses within the central nervous system, secondary to meningitis, encephalitis, and traumatic injury. The source of IL-8 within the brain during these inflammatory processes, however, is unknown. To explore the role of microglia in the production of IL-8, human fetal microglia, which are the resident macrophages of the brain, were treated with LPS and pro- and anti-inflammatory cytokines to determine their effects on IL-8 production. We found that IL-8 protein levels increased in response to LPS or IL-1 beta, or to TNF-alpha, which also corresponded to elevated IL-8 mRNA levels by RT-PCR. Pretreatment with IL-4, IL-10, or TGF-beta 1 potently inhibited the stimulatory effects of these proinflammatory agents. These findings indicate that human microglia synthesize IL-8 in response to proinflammatory stimuli, and that anti-inflammatory cytokines down-regulate the production of this chemokine. These results may have important therapeutic implications for certain central nervous system insults involving inflammation.

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