Expression of Interleukin-8 Receptor CXCR2 and Suppressor of Cytokine Signaling-3 in Astrocytic Tumors
The aim was to expand recently published information regarding the significance of the interleukin (IL)-8/p-STAT-3 (signal transducer and activator of transcription) pathway in astrocytomas, focusing on the IL-8 receptor, chemokine (C-X-C motif) receptor 2 (CXCR2), and the STAT-3 inhibitor SOCS-3 (suppressors of cytokine signaling). A total of 91 paraffin-embedded human astrocytoma tissues (grades II-IV) were investigated for the association of SOCS-3 and CXCR2 expression with clinicopathologic and morpho-metric microvascular characteristics, vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), IL-8 and p-STAT-3 expression and patient survival. Peripheral IL-8 secretion levels were assessed by enzyme-linked immunosorbent spot (ELISPOT). SOCS-3, p-STAT-3 and CXCR2 protein levels were also quantified by Western immunoblotting in six cases, and the protein levels of SOCS-3 and CXCR2 were correlated with the immunohistochemical expression of the respective proteins. All CXCR2-positive cases by Western immunoblotting displayed increased peripheral IL-8 secretion levels. Treatment of primary glioblastoma cell cultures with exogenous IL-8 enhanced proliferation, and this effect was inhibited by treatment with a neutralizing anti-CXCR2 antibody. SOCS-3 and CXCR2 were expressed by neoplastic astrocytes in 92.4% and 48.78% of cases, respectively, with their levels increasing with histological grade and extent of necrosis. VEGF expression and microvessel density, CXCR2 and IL-8 levels were interrelated. SOCS-3 and p-STAT-3 were co-expressed in 85.7% of cases, although they were not interrelated. In univariate survival analysis, increased SOCS-3 expression and the presence of CXCR2 adversely affected survival, whereas in multivariate analysis, only CXCR2 remained significant. The prognostic significance of CXCR2 was validated in an independent set of 63 patients. Our data implicate IL-8/CXCR2 signaling pathway in the progression and regulation of angiogenesis in astrocytomas and provide a rationale for CXCR2 therapeutic exploitation in these tumors.
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