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In vitro study of IL-8 and goblet cells: Possible role of IL-8 in the aetiology of otitis media with effusion

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Jeffrey Pearson


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One of the main characteristics of otitis media with effusion (OME) is the differentiation of basal cells into goblet cells with subsequent proliferation in a modified respiratory epithelium leading to the formation of mucin-rich effusion in the middle ear cleft. In order to determine the effect of pro-inflammatory cytokines identified in OME, e.g. IL-1β, tumour necrosis factor (TNF)-α, IL-6 and IL-8, on goblet cells, and to clarify the role of IL-8 in particular, we used the human goblet cell line HT29-MTX, which secretes two OME-related mucins: MUC5AC and MUC5B. IL-1β and TNF-α stimulated the secretion of IL-8 in HT29-MTX goblet cells. Dose- (2-200 ng/ml) and time- (0-5 days) response studies of IL-8-induced mucin secretion were carried out. IL-8 upregulated the secretion of MUC5AC and MUC5B mucins in a concentration-dependent manner, with a maximum response at an IL-8 concentration of 20 ng/ml. IL-8 (20 ng/ml)-mediated mucin secretion persisted for up to 5 days, with a peak response 72 h after the addition of cytokine. These results suggest that: (i) goblet cells are target cells for the pro-inflammatory cytokines IL-1β, TNF-α. and IL-8 and can contribute to the pathogenesis of OME by increasing both the concentration of IL-8 and the secretion of mucin; and (ii) IL-8 stimulates prolonged mucin secretion from goblet cells and may be involved in the maintenance of the disease in the chronic stage.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Smirnova MG, Birchall JP, Pearson JP

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Acta Oto-Laryngologica

Year: 2002

Volume: 122

Issue: 2

Pages: 146-152

Print publication date: 01/01/2002

ISSN (print): 0001-6489

ISSN (electronic): 1651-2553

Publisher: Informa Healthcare


DOI: 10.1080/00016480252814144

PubMed id: 11936905


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