IL-8 is an angiogenic factor in human coronary atherectomy tissue

Americo Simonini, Mauro Moscucci, David W.M. Muller, Eric R. Bates, Francis D. Pagani, Marie D. Burdick, Robert M. Strieter

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

183 Scopus citations


Background - Interleukin-8 (IL-8), a CXC chemokine that induces the migration and proliferation of endothelial cells and smooth muscle cells, is a potent angiogenic factor that may play a role in atherosclerosis. Previously, IL-8 has been reported in atherosclerotic lesions and circulating macrophages from patients with atherosclerosis. Therefore, we sought to determine whether IL-8 plays a role in mediating angiogenic activity in atherosclerosis. Methods and Results - Homogenates from 16 patients undergoing directional coronary atherectomy (DCA) and control samples from the internal mammary artery (IMA) of 7 patients undergoing bypass graft surgery were assessed for IL-8 content by specific ELISA, immunohistochemistry, and in situ hybridization for IL-8 mRNA. The contribution of IL-8 to net angiogenic activity was assessed using the rat cornea micropocket assay and cultured cells. IL-8 expression was significantly elevated in DCA samples compared with IMA samples (1.71±0.6 versus 0.05±0.03 ng/mg of total protein; P<0.01). Positive immunolocalization of IL-8 was found exclusively in DCA tissue sections, and it correlated with the presence of factor VIII-related antigen. In situ reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction revealed the expression of IL-8 mRNA in DCA tissue. Corneal neovascular response, defined by ingrowth of capillary sprouts toward the implant, was markedly positive with DCA pellets, but no constitutive vessel ingrowth was seen with IMA specimens. Neutralizing IL-8 attenuated both the in vivo corneal neovascular response and the in vitro proliferation of cultured cells. Conclusions - The results suggest that, in human coronary atherosclerosis, IL-8 is an important mediator of angiogenesis and may contribute to plaque formation via its angiogenic properties.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1519-1526
Number of pages8
Issue number13
StatePublished - Apr 4 2000
Externally publishedYes


  • Angiogenesis
  • Atherosclerosis
  • Coronary disease
  • Cytokines

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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