Differential cytokine expression by human intestinal epithelial cell lines: regulated expression of interleukin 8

Gastroenterology. 1993 Dec;105(6):1689-97. doi: 10.1016/0016-5085(93)91064-o.


Background: To characterize the role of intestinal epithelial cells in mucosal host defense, we have examined constitutive cytokine expression and regulated expression of interleukin (IL)-8 by human colonic epithelial cells.

Methods: Cytokine expression by the human colonic epithelial cell lines, T84, Caco-2, SW620, and HT29 was assessed by using polymerase chain reaction amplification of reverse-transcribed RNA. Regulated IL-8 expression was analyzed by nuclear run-off assays, Northern blot analysis, and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay.

Results: The cell lines constitutively expressed messenger RNA (mRNA) for IL-8 and transforming growth factor beta 1. In addition, some cell lines expressed mRNA for IL-1 alpha, IL-1 beta, IL-10 and tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF alpha). None of the cell lines expressed mRNA for IL-2, IL-4, IL-5, IL-6, or interferon gamma. Cell lines secreted IL-8 either constitutively or after stimulation with the physiological agonists TNF alpha, IL-1 beta, or lipopolysaccharide. Increased IL-8 secretion after TNF alpha stimulation of T84 cells was accompanied by increased IL-8 mRNA levels and an increased transcription rate of the IL-8 gene. IL-8 was preferentially secreted at the basolateral surface of polarized T84 cells. In further studies, freshly isolated human colon epithelial cells also secreted IL-8.

Conclusions: These results support the notion of bidirectional communication between intestinal epithelial cells and mucosal immune and inflammatory cells.

Publication types

  • Duplicate Publication
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
  • Comment

MeSH terms

  • Base Sequence
  • Cell Line
  • Colon / immunology
  • Cytokines / genetics*
  • Cytokines / pharmacology
  • Epithelium / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Interleukin-8 / biosynthesis*
  • Interleukin-8 / metabolism
  • Intestinal Mucosa / drug effects
  • Intestinal Mucosa / metabolism*
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Transcription, Genetic


  • Cytokines
  • Interleukin-8