Cxcl8 is a pro-inflammatory chemokine, best known for its role in neutrophil chemotaxis. Signalling through its receptors, Cxcr1 and Cxcr2, is induced by inflammatory stimuli evoked by microbial, chemical or environmental stress, and hormonal signals. While it is recognised that Cxcl8 signalling is active in the gut mucosa, this is not as well understood as its role in leukocyte trafficking. Here, we report the characterisation of genes encoding the zebrafish Cxcl8, Cxcr1 and Cxcr2. By a combination of genomic, expression and functional analyses, we show that the Cxcl8 signalling pathway is conserved in zebrafish. As in humans, cxcl8 is expressed in zebrafish leukocytes. Transcripts were also detected in intestinal epithelial cells, and this expression is upregulated under inflammatory conditions caused by bacterial or chemical insult. Expression of cxcr1 and cxcr2 is robust within the developing gut. This work provides a model for the study of Cxcl8 signalling during gut inflammation.
Copyright 2009 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.