The pathogenesis of myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS) is complex and depends on the interaction between aberrant hematopoietic cells and their microenvironment, probably including aberrations in cytokines and their signaling pathways. To evaluate interleukin-8 (IL-8) plasma levels and nuclear factor kappa B (NF-kB) in patients with MDS and to test possible correlation between IL-8 and NF-Kb, a total of 45 individuals were analyzed: 25 consecutive adult de novo MDS patients and 20 sex and age-matched healthy elderly volunteers. IL-8 analysis was performed by ELISA and activity of NF-kB by chemiluminescent assay. MDS patients showed higher level of IL-8 when compared to controls (p = 0.006). Patients aged 75 and above showed even higher levels (p = 0.035). NF-kB activity was significantly elevated in MDS patients when compared to controls (p < 0.0001) and higher in patients older than 75 years (p = 0.047). NF-kB activity was associated with higher serum ferritin (p = 0.042) and higher percentage of blasts (p = 0.028). A significant positive correlation between IL-8 and NF-kB was demonstrated (r = 0.480; p = 0.015). Many pathways involved in pathophysiology of MDS have been recently described, suggesting that an inflammatory process may act as a pathogenic driver. In this study, significantly elevated levels of IL-8 and NF-kB were demonstrated in MDS patients, with positive association of NF-kB with some markers of poor prognosis. A positive correlation between IL-8 and NF-kB suggests they cooperate as part of a complex networking of immune and inflammatory factors involved in MDS.
Keywords: Interleukin-8 (IL-8); Myelodysplastic syndrome; Nuclear factor kappa B (NF-kB); Proinflammatory cytokine.