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Hum Immunol. 2009 Jun;70(6):391-7. doi: 10.1016/j.humimm.2009.03.011. Epub 2009 Mar 27.

Analysis of interleukin (IL)-8 expression in human astrocytomas: associations with IL-6, cyclooxygenase-2, vascular endothelial growth factor, and microvessel morphometry.

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Department of Pathology, School of Medicine, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, Laiko Hospital, Athens 11527, Greece.


Malignant astrocytomas are highly vascular neoplasms with potent angiogenic activity. The present study aimed to investigate peripheral and local expression of interleukin (IL)-8 in astrocytomas with possible associations to IL-6, cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2), vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) expression, and microvessel morphometry. IL-6- and IL-8-secreting peripheral blood monocytes (PBMCs) were evaluated in 17 glioblastoma (WHO grade IV), 5 anaplastic astrocytoma (WHO grade III), and 6 diffuse astrocytoma patients (WHO grade II), in parallel with 23 healthy controls using enzyme-linked immunosorbent spot (ELISPOT) assay. The IL-8 expression was assessed immunohistochemically in patients' tumor tissue sections and correlated with the expression of COX-2, VEGF, IL-6, and microvessel morphometry (assessed using CD34 antibody). Eighteen cases were also stained for CD31 and used as an additional vessel marker to validate our results regarding microvessel morphometry. IL-6 and IL-8 were highly secreted in the PBMCs of glioma patients compared with controls (p = 0.0001, p < 0.0001, respectively), with a positive correlation between IL-8 expression and secretion levels (p = 0.001). IL-8 immunoreactivity was detected in malignant cells or macrophages in perivascular areas and in pseudopalisading cells around necrosis and was positively correlated with histological grade (p = 0.0175) and tumor necrosis (p = 0.0793). IL-6 and IL-8 expression levels were positively correlated (p = 0.0036) and associated with COX-2 and VEGF expression (IL-6: p = 0.0133, p = 0.065; IL-8: p = 0.0139, p = 0.0101), but not with microvessel morphometry, by either CD31 or CD34. The coordinate expression and topographical relationship of IL-6, IL-8, COX-2, and VEGF in the same tumor areas (e.g., perinecrotic areas) attest to their intimate liaison in terms of cancer-induced angiogenesis, which is probably secondary to the induction of multiple interdependent molecular pathways. Moreover, our study seems to be the first attempt to link IL-8 expression by tumor cells with histological grade, implicating its potent role in gliomagenesis.

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