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Arthritis Rheum. 1991 Mar;34(3):325-32.

Induction of neutrophil-mediated cartilage degradation by interleukin-8.

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Department of Endocrinology, Sandoz Research Institute Berne Ltd., Switzerland.


Neutrophil influx into the inflamed joint is a characteristic feature of disease flares in patients with rheumatoid arthritis. Recently, a protein produced by monocytes and fibroblasts that has chemoattractive/activating properties for neutrophils has been identified and characterized. This protein has been called interleukin-8 (IL-8). In this study, we cocultured neutrophils with 35S-sulfate-labeled cartilage and found that the addition of recombinant human IL-8 (rHuIL-8) caused rapid, neutrophil-mediated cartilage degradation that was the result of induction of neutrophil degranulation by the cytokine. With 10(-7)M rHuIL-8, 23% of the radiolabel was released into the culture medium in 4 hours, compared with a 9% release without the factor. At concentrations of up to 10(-6)M, rHuIL-8 had no direct effect upon cartilage breakdown. These findings indicate that IL-8 may participate in the pathogenesis of rheumatoid arthritis through the induction of neutrophil-mediated cartilage damage.

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