IL-8 is sometimes called CXCL8. It is a chemokine that is produced by a variety of cell types, including macrophages and epithelial cells.
Like all of the Interleukin proteins, IL-8 modulates and controls the behavior of cells in the human body. Interleukin are responsible for the immune response, which has lead to the conclusion that well-functioning Interleukins are an essential component of human health.
If we focus on IL-8 for a moment, we can see the potential role it plays in immune response. IL-8 has been found to encourage the response of immune cells to the site of an infection, and has a strong role to play in issues in the inflammatory and protective response of infected tissue.
IL-8 has two primary functions as regards its role in the immune response. Firstly, it promotes chemotaxis in target cells. It appears to have a particularly strong influence on neutrophils and other granulocytes. IL-8 is directly responsible for the mobility of these cells towards the site of an infection in the body.
Furthermore, IL-8 then proceeds to induce phagocytosis when the cells it has influenced arrive at the infection site.
Finally, it is worth noting that the belief is that IL-8 has a well-conserved structure and function. This is believed because its chemoattractant activity was proven in Tetrahymena pyriformis.
● IL-8 is a known promoter of angiogenesis.
● It has also been found to be responsible for exocytosis, respiratory burst, and intracellular Ca2+ also, reflecting its role in providing physiological responses necessary for migration and phagocytosis.
● IL-8 can be secreted by any cell that features toll-like receptors and are involved in the human response. It has been noted that the macrophages are among the first cells to release IL-8 to its work of recruiting other cells to mobilize to the site of infection.
● IL-8 is also believed to have a role in the pathogenesis of common viral respiratory tract disease bronchiolitis.
● A wide number of cells have been found to respond to IL-8. As well as the primary neutrophil granulocytes, other cells that respond to IL-8 include: macrophages, mast cells, keratinocytes, and endothelial cells.
IL-8 has been posited as clinically significant in a number of areas.
● It is believed that IL-8 acts as a proinflammatory mediator in conditions such as psoriasis and gingivitis.
● IL-8 is believed to have a contributory role in regards to colorectal cancer. It acts as an autocrine growth factor for colon carcinoma cell lines, and may also be involved in promoting the division of cleaving metalloproteinase molecules.
● Studies have shown that if a pregnant woman has high levels of IL-8 during pregnancy, there is increased risk of schizophrenia in her children.
● In addition to the above, high levels of IL-8 have also been shown to impact positive responses in schizophrenic patients. This is particularly connected to positive impact from antipsychotic medications.