Aim: To investigate the expression profile of IL-8 in inflammatory and malignant colorectal diseases to evaluate its potential role in the regulation of colorectal cancer (CRC) and the development of colorectal liver metastases (CRLM).
Methods: IL-8 expression was assessed by quantitative real-time PCR (Q-RT-PCR) and the enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) in resected specimens from patients with ulcerative colitis (UC, n = 6) colorectal adenomas (CRA, n = 8), different stages of colorectal cancer (n = 48) as well as synchronous and metachronous CRLM along with their corresponding primary colorectal tumors (n = 16).
Results: IL-8 mRNA and protein expression was significantly up-regulated in all pathological colorectal entities investigated compared with the corresponding neighboring tissues. However, in the CRC specimens IL-8 revealed a significantly more pronounced overexpression in relation to the CRA and UC tissues with an average 30-fold IL-8 protein up-regulation in the CRC specimens in comparison to the CRA tissues. Moreover, IL-8 expression revealed a close correlation with tumor grading. Most interestingly, IL-8 up-regulation was most enhanced in synchronous and metachronous CRLM, if compared with the corresponding primary CRC tissues. Herein, an up to 80-fold IL-8 overexpression in individual metachronous metastases compared to normal tumor neighbor tissues was found.
Conclusion: Our results strongly suggest an association between IL-8 expression, induction and progression of colorectal carcinoma and the development of colorectal liver metastases.