Abstract

Interleukin-8 (IL-8, or CXCL8), which is a chemokine with a defining CXC amino acid motif that was initially characterized for its leukocyte chemotactic activity, is now known to possess tumorigenic and proangiogenic properties as well. In human gliomas, IL-8 is expressed and secreted at high levels both in vitro and in vivo, and recent experiments suggest it is critical to glial tumor neovascularity and progression. Levels of IL-8 correlate with histologic grade in glial neoplasms, and the most malignant form, glioblastoma, shows the highest expression in pseudopalisading cells around necrosis, suggesting that hypoxia/anoxia may stimulate expression. In addition to hypoxia/anoxia stimulation, increased IL-8 in gliomas occurs in response to Fas ligation, death receptor activation, cytosolic Ca2+, TNF-α, IL-1, and other cytokines and various cellular stresses. The IL-8 promoter contains binding sites for the transcription factors NF-κB, AP-1, and C-EBP/NF-IL-6, among others. AP-1 has been shown to mediate IL-8 upregulation by anoxia in gliomas. The potential tumor suppressor ING4 was recently shown to be a critical regulator of NF-κB-mediated IL-8 transcription and subsequent angiogenesis in gliomas. The IL-8 receptors that could contribute to IL-8-mediated tumorigenic and angiogenic responses include CXCR1 and CXCR2, both of which are G-protein coupled, and the Duffy antigen receptor for cytokines, which has no defined intracellular signaling capabilities. The proangiogenic activity of IL-8 occurs predominantly following binding to CXCR2, but CXCR1 appears to contribute as well through independent, small-GTPase activity. A precise definition of the mechanisms by which IL-8 exerts its proangiogenic functions requires further study for the development of effective IL-8-targeted therapies.

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Author notes

Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine (D.J.B.) andLaboratory of Molecular Neuro-Oncology, Departments of Neurosurgery and Hematology/Oncology, and Winship Cancer Institute (A.C.B., E.G.V.M.), Emory University School of Medicine, Atlanta, GA 30322, USA