The role of oxidative stress in rhinovirus induced elaboration of IL-8 by respiratory epithelial cells

Free Radic Biol Med. 1999 Feb;26(3-4):454-62. doi: 10.1016/s0891-5849(98)00233-0.


A direct correlation has been reported between the severity of symptoms associated with rhinovirus infection and the concentration of interleukin-8 in nasal secretions. The purpose of these studies was to examine the mechanism of rhinovirus-induced IL-8 elaboration. Rhinovirus infection induced oxidative stress in Beas-2b cells and the concentration of H2O2 in supernatant media from rhinovirus challenged cells was 12.5 +/- 6.1 microM 1 h after challenge compared to 0.7 +/- 0.3 microM in supernatant from control cells. N-acetyl cysteine inhibited RV-induced NF-kappaB activation and IL-8 elaboration. IL-8 concentrations were 36 +/- 2 pg/ml and 10 +/- 1 pg/ml 6 h after virus challenge in untreated and NAC-treated (30 mM NAC) cells, respectively. Despite the effects of NAC on IL-8 elaboration and NF-kappaB activation, RV stimulated increases in supernatant H2O2 were not altered by NAC. These data suggest that RV stimulation of IL-8 in respiratory epithelium is mediated through production of oxidative species and the subsequent activation of NF-kappaB.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Acetylcysteine / pharmacology
  • Cell Line
  • Epithelial Cells / metabolism
  • Epithelial Cells / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Hydrogen Peroxide / pharmacology
  • Interleukin-8 / biosynthesis*
  • Lung / cytology
  • Lung / metabolism*
  • NF-kappa B / metabolism
  • Oxidative Stress / physiology*
  • Rhinovirus / physiology*
  • Signal Transduction / physiology
  • Stimulation, Chemical


  • Interleukin-8
  • NF-kappa B
  • Hydrogen Peroxide
  • Acetylcysteine