AbstractBACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVE: Constitutive cellular expression and serum release of biologically active interleukin-8 (IL-8) has been reported in B-cell chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL). Given the autocrine role played by IL-8 in the process of cell accumulation characteristic of this disease we tried to investigate clinico-biological implications of increased serum levels of this cytokine in an unselected series of B-cell CLL patients. DESIGN AND METHODS: Serum levels of IL-8 were determined at the time of diagnosis in 58 previously untreated B-CLL patients using an immunoenzyme assay. Results were correlated with main clinico-hematologic features as well as with the risk of disease progression. Finally, we looked for associations between IL-8 and molecules directly involved in apoptosis, such as intracellular bcl-2 and soluble APO-1/Fas. RESULTS: Increased serum levels of IL-8 were found in 15 out of 58 (25.8%) B-cell CLL patients. Serum levels of IL-8 did not reflect clinico-biological features representative of tumor mass such as clinical stage, histopathologic pattern of bone marrow (BM) involvement, b2-microglobulin, sCD23 and sCD27 titers. Interestingly, circulating levels of IL-8 paralleled those of intracellular bcl-2 (r = 0.522; p = 0.01), thus confirming that the antiapoptotic effect of IL-8 can be exerted through a bcl-2 dependent pathway. Levels of IL-8 did not match those of soluble Apo-1/Fas (r = -0.013; p = 0.943). Finally, stage A patients with levels of IL-8 above the median value (i.e. 4.5 pg/mL) were more likely to progress to a more advanced clinical stage than those with levels below the median value (p < 0.05). INTERPRETATION AND CONCLUSIONS: IL-8 is an interesting marker in B-cell CLL, closely involved in the pathogenesis of disease. Furthermore, it is useful for predicting the pace of disease progression in early clinical stages.
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Vol. 84 No. 3 (1999): March, 1999 : Articles
Ferrata Storti Foundation, Pavia, Italy
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