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Pathobiology. 1999;67(1):12-8.

Role of interleukin-8 in tumor growth and metastasis of human melanoma.

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Department of Cell Biology, The University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, Tex. 77030, USA.


Expression of interleukin-8 (IL-8) by human melanoma cells correlates with their metastatic potential in vivo. Moreover, UVB irradiation of primary cutaneous melanoma induces IL-8 mRNA and protein production and increases both tumor growth and metastasis in nude mice. Although IL-8 has been shown to be an angiogenic factor, the biological consequences of increased IL-8 production by melanoma cells and the role of IL-8 in the metastatic process remains unclear. The purpose of this review is to determine the role of IL-8 in tumor growth and metastasis of human melanoma. Transfection of nonmetastatic and IL-8-negative melanoma cells with the IL-8 gene rendered them highly tumorigenic and increased their metastatic potential in nude mice. The IL-8-transfected cells displayed upregulation of MMP-2 expression and activity and increased invasiveness through Matrigel-coated filters. Activation of MMP-2 by IL-8 can enhance the invasion of host stroma by the tumor cells and increase angiogenesis and, hence, metastasis. In addition to UVB, IL-8 can also be upregulated by hypoxia conditions, suggesting that the environment plays a major role in regulating IL-8 expression and metastasis. The studies summarized in this review suggest that in melanoma, IL-8 may serve as the angiogenic factor distinguishing benign from malignant cells.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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