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, 177 (2), 130-7

Interleukin-8 Induction by the Environmental Contaminant Benzo(a)pyrene Is Aryl Hydrocarbon Receptor-Dependent and Leads to Lung Inflammation

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Interleukin-8 Induction by the Environmental Contaminant Benzo(a)pyrene Is Aryl Hydrocarbon Receptor-Dependent and Leads to Lung Inflammation

Normand Podechard et al. Toxicol Lett.

Abstract

Benzo(a)pyrene (BP) is an environmental contaminant known to favor airway inflammation likely through up-regulation of pro-inflammatory cytokines. The present study was designed to characterize its effects toward interleukin-8 (IL-8), a well-established pulmonary inflammatory cytokine. In primary human macrophages, BP was shown to induce IL-8 expression at both mRNA and secretion levels in a dose-dependent manner. Such an up-regulation was likely linked to aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AhR)-activation since BP-mediated IL-8 induction was reduced after AhR expression knock-down through RNA interference. Moreover, electrophoretic mobility shift assays (EMSAs) and chromatin immunoprecipitation experiments showed BP-triggered binding of AhR to a consensus xenobiotic responsive element (XRE) found in the human IL-8 promoter. Finally, BP administration to mice led to over-expression of keratinocyte chemoattractant (KC), the murine functional homologue of IL-8, in lung. It also triggered the recruitment of neutrophils in bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) fluids, which was however fully abolished in the presence of a chemical antagonist of the KC/IL-8 receptors CXCR1/CXCR2, thus supporting the functional and crucial involvement of KC in BP-induced lung inflammation. Overall, these data highlight an AhR-dependent regulation of IL-8 in response to BP that likely contributes to the airway inflammatory effects of this environmental chemical.

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