Background: Interleukin-8 (IL-8) is a pro-inflammatory cytokine highly expr
essed in inflammatory bowel diseases, but whose effects on intestinal motil
ity are unknown.
Aim: To characterize the role of IL-8 in the contraction of rat intestinal
Methods: Contractile response to acetylcholine (ACh 10(-6) M) in terminal i
leal segments (including mucosa) from Wistar rats was measured before and a
fter incubation (15, 30, 60 or 90 min) with IL-8 (1 ng/mL), and after 60 mi
n of incubation with different doses of IL-8 (0, 0.1, 0.5, 1, 10 and 100 ng
/mL). The effects of blocking neural transmission with tetrodotoxin (TTX) a
nd inhibiting protein synthesis (cycloheximide) were tested. The contractil
e response of longitudinal muscle-myenteric plexus preparations (i.e. witho
ut mucosa) was measured after 60 min of incubation with 0.1 and 1 ng/mL of
Results: IL-8 increased ileal contraction induced by ACh 10(-6) M. This aug
mentation was significant after 60 min of incubation (58%, P=0.01) and pers
isted after 90 min (18%, P=0.04). A 60-min incubation period showed a dose-
related effect, beginning at 0.5 ng/mL (30%, P=0.003) and reaching a peak a
t 1 ng/mL (58%, P=0.01). The same effect was also observed on colonic segme
nts. TTX did not affect the IL-8 increase of ACh-induced contractions, whic
h was completely abolished by cycloheximide. IL-8 had no significant effect
on longitudinal muscle-myenteric plexus preparations.
Conclusion: In vitro, IL-8 increases contractile response of the ileum to A
Ch in a dose-dependent manner. This effect is not neurally mediated, but se
ems to involve protein synthesis by intestinal mucosa.