Background: Inflammatory mediators influence tumour progression. IL-8 has been shown to have pro-angiogenic, mitogenic and motogenic effects and several studies have demonstrated the expression of IL-8 by various human pancreatic cancer cell lines.
Methods: The expression of IL-8 and IL-8 receptors was studied in 52 pancreatic adenocarcinomas and 52 pancreatic neuroendocrine tumours using immunohistochemistry. The expression of IL-8 and IL-8 receptors was also assessed in eight pancreatic adenocarcinomas and seven neuroendocrine tumours in comparison to normal pancreatic tissue using real time quantitative PCR (qRT-PCR).
Results: Immunohistochemical analysis of the expression of IL-8, IL-8RA and IL-8RB in 52 pancreatic adenocarcinomas demonstrated expression in 25%, 75% and 79% of pancreatic adenocarcinomas, respectively. There was no statistically significant correlation between expression and tumour grade and stage for any of the three antigens. IL-8, IL-8RA and IL-8RB expression was detected in 21%, 63% and 92% of 52 pancreatic neuroendocrine tumours. There was no statistically significant correlation between expression and tumour grade for any of the three antigens. Using qRT-PCR, the expression of each of IL-8, IL-8RA and IL-8RB mRNA was increased in 75% of pancreatic adenocarcinomas. IL-8, IL-8RA and IL-8RB mRNA expression was also increased in 57%, 43% and 29% of pancreatic neuroendocrine tumours. Quantitatively, there was a significant increase in expression level of IL-8 in tumours of both types in comparison to normal pancreatic tissue (38.5-fold in adenocarcinomas and 43.9-fold in neuroendocrine tumours). There was also increased expression of IL-8RA in both tumour types, with higher levels in adenocarcinomas, 2.7-fold and neuroendocrine tumours, 1.7-fold. IL-8RB was slightly increased in adenocarcinomas in comparison to normal pancreas (1.4-fold), but the expression was decreased in neuroendocrine tumours compared with normal pancreas (0.9-fold).
Conclusion: This is the first study to show that IL-8 and IL-8 receptors are upregulated in both pancreatic adenocarcinomas and neuroendocrine tumours, and indicate this signalling pathway may modulate tumour behaviour through autocrine and/or paracrine loops.
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