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Int J Oncol. 2001 Feb;18(2):257-64.

Expression and function of interleukin-8 in human hepatocellular carcinoma.

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Department of Pathology, Kurume University School of Medicine, 67 Asahi-machi, Kurume, Fukuoka 830-0011, Japan.


Expression and functions of interleukin (IL)-8, a pro-inflammatory cytokine with angiogenesis action, was examined in 23 surgically resected hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) specimens and 7 HCC cell lines. In all HCC tissues, IL-8 expression was confirmed with reverse-transcription polymerase chain reaction method and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay, and immunohistochemistry showed HCC cells were the major producer of IL-8 in the tissues. Microvessel density was measured by the double immunohistochemical staining of muscular vessels in HCC tissues, but the density was not related to the level of IL-8 in the HCC tissues. On the other hand, in the co-culture of human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVEC) and a HCC cell line (KIM-1), IL-8 produced by KIM-1 significantly accelerated the proliferation of HUVEC. In addition, cases with a high IL-8 level in cancerous tissue had a significantly higher frequency of portal vein invasion, venous invasion and bile duct invasion (p<0.05). In the cultures of 7 HCC cell lines IL-8 secretion into culture medium increased with the treatment of IL-1beta or tumor necrosis factor-alpha. This showed IL-8 expression is regulated by inflammatory cytokines. IL-8 produced by HCC is an angiogenesis factor of HCC, but it could have a much more important role in the invasion and metastasis of HCC.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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