Expression of interleukin-8 in primary and metastatic malignant melanoma of the skin

Melanoma Res. 1999 Aug;9(4):383-7. doi: 10.1097/00008390-199908000-00007.


It was recently demonstrated that interleukin-8 (IL-8) is produced by cultured melanoma cells and acts as an essential autocrine growth factor. Earlier studies from our laboratory demonstrated a direct correlation between IL-8 expression in human variant cell lines and their metastatic potential in nude mice. In the present study we examined the expression of IL-8 in human malignant melanomas using immunohistochemistry to correlate IL-8 levels with disease stage. None of the radial growth phase (RGP) tumours (melanoma in situ) expressed IL-8. In contrast, 50% of the vertical growth phase (VGP) tumours (invasive melanoma), which have a high risk of metastasis, showed IL-8 immunoreactivity. Further, all the metastatic lesions analysed showed intense staining for IL-8; the levels were higher than those observed in the primary skin tumours. In summary, the data suggest an association between the expression of IL-8 and the metastatic phenotype.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Biomarkers, Tumor / biosynthesis
  • Disease Progression
  • Humans
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Interleukin-8 / biosynthesis*
  • Lymphatic Metastasis
  • Melanoma / metabolism*
  • Melanoma / secondary
  • Phenotype
  • Skin Neoplasms / metabolism*
  • Skin Neoplasms / pathology
  • Soft Tissue Neoplasms / metabolism
  • Soft Tissue Neoplasms / secondary


  • Biomarkers, Tumor
  • Interleukin-8