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Neoplasia. 2000 Nov-Dec;2(6):561-8.

Expression of interleukin-8 promotes neutrophil infiltration and genetic instability in mutatect tumors.

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Department of Biochemistry, Microbiology, and Immunology, University of Ottawa and the Ottawa Regional Cancer Centre, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.


Neutrophils represent a potential source of genotoxic reactive oxygen and nitrogen species in the tumor microenvironment. Using Mutatect cell lines, which can form subcutaneous tumors in syngeneic C57BL/6 mice, we have previously established that the number of spontaneously infiltrating neutrophils correlates with the number of mutations at the hypoxanthine phosphoribosyltransferase (Hprt) locus. We now describe the properties of four lines that express different levels of the neutrophil chemokine, interleukin-8 (IL-8), from a tetracycline (TET)-responsive promoter. In a series involving 45 animals, IL-8-expressing lines produced tumors with a higher neutrophil content than the control line. Analysis of the 45 tumors revealed that the neutrophil level again strongly correlated with hprt mutant frequency (MF) (P<.0001, r=0.88). Administration of TET was effective in lowering the neutrophil content of low IL-8-expressing tumors, but not high IL-8-expressing tumors. Although the IL-8 transgene was stable in all lines in vitro, high IL-8-expressing lines completely lost the transgene in vivo whereas low IL-8-expressing lines showed no evidence of transgene instability. These results provide further evidence, based on the study of an endogenous gene (hprt) and an IL-8 transgene, that neutrophils may contribute to genetic instability in tumors.

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