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J Immunol. 2003 Mar 15;170(6):3369-76.

IL-8 directly enhanced endothelial cell survival, proliferation, and matrix metalloproteinases production and regulated angiogenesis.

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Department of Pathology and Microbiology, University of Nebraska Medical Center, 987660 Nebraska Medical Center, Omaha, NE 68198, USA.


IL-8, a member of the chemokine family, has been shown to play an important role in tumor growth, angiogenesis, and metastasis. The objective of this study was to determine the mechanism of IL-8-mediated angiogenesis. We examined the direct role of IL-8 in angiogenesis by examining IL-8 receptor expression on endothelial cells and their proliferation, survival, and matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) production. We demonstrate that HUVEC and human dermal microvascular endothelial cells constitutively express CXCR1 and CXCR2 mRNA and protein. Recombinant human IL-8 induced endothelial cell proliferation and capillary tube organization while neutralization of IL-8 by anti-IL-8 Ab blocks IL-8-mediated capillary tube organization. Incubation of endothelial cells with IL-8 inhibited endothelial cell apoptosis and enhanced antiapoptotic gene expression. Endothelial cells incubated with IL-8 had higher levels of Bcl-x(L):Bcl-x(S) and Bcl-2:Bax ratios. Furthermore, incubation of endothelial cells with IL-8 up-regulated MMP-2 and MMP-9 production and mRNA expression. Our data suggest that IL-8 directly enhanced endothelial cell proliferation, survival, and MMP expression in CXCR1- and CXCR2-expressing endothelial cells and regulated angiogenesis.

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