Interleukin-8 as a mediator of sympathetic pain

Br J Pharmacol. 1991 Nov;104(3):765-7. doi: 10.1111/j.1476-5381.1991.tb12502.x.


1. The hyperalgesic effects of interleukin-8 (IL-8), interleukin-1 beta (IL-1 beta) and carrageenin were measured in a rat paw pressure test. 2. IL-8 evoked a dose-dependent hyperalgesia which was attenuated by a specific antiserum, the beta-adrenoceptor antagonists atenolol and propranolol, the dopamine receptor antagonist SCH 23390 and the adrenergic neurone-blocking agent guanethidine. The hyperalgesia was not attenuated by the cyclooxygenase inhibitor indomethacin or the IL-1 beta analogue Lys-D-Pro-Thr. 3. IL-1 beta-evoked hyperalgesia was attenuated by indomethacin and Lys-D-Pro-Thr but not by atenolol or SCH 23390. 4. Carrageenin-evoked hyperalgesia was attenuated by atenolol, indomethacin and anti-IL-8 serum. The effects of atenolol and anti-IL-8 serum were not additive. The effects of indomethacin and anti-IL-8 serum were additive: this combination abolished carrageenin-evoked hyperalgesia. 5. A new biological activity of IL-8 is described, namely the capacity to evoke hyperalgesia by a prostaglandin-independent mechanism. IL-8 is the first endogenous mediator to be identified as evoking hyperalgesia involving the sympathetic nervous system. Since IL-8 is released by activated macrophages and endothelial cells it may be a humoral link between tissue injury and sympathetic hyperalgesia.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Atenolol / pharmacology
  • Benzazepines / pharmacology
  • Carrageenan
  • Dinoprostone / metabolism
  • Edema / chemically induced
  • Edema / complications
  • Edema / pathology
  • Foot / pathology
  • Guanethidine / pharmacology
  • Interleukin-1 / pharmacology
  • Interleukin-8 / antagonists & inhibitors
  • Interleukin-8 / pharmacology
  • Interleukin-8 / physiology*
  • Male
  • Monocytes / drug effects
  • Monocytes / metabolism
  • Nociceptors / drug effects
  • Pain / etiology
  • Pain / physiopathology*
  • Propranolol / pharmacology
  • Rats
  • Rats, Inbred Strains
  • Recombinant Proteins / pharmacology
  • Sympathetic Nervous System / physiopathology*


  • Benzazepines
  • Interleukin-1
  • Interleukin-8
  • Recombinant Proteins
  • Atenolol
  • Carrageenan
  • Propranolol
  • Dinoprostone
  • Guanethidine