We investigated the production of interleukin-8 (IL-8) and chemotactic activity released from Chang liver cells subjected to long-term treatment with ethanol (Et) and subsequent stimulation with tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α). Chang liver cells were cultured in the presence of 5, 50 or 100 mmol/l Et for 4 weeks and then treated with recombinant TNF-α (1, 10, 100 U/ml). The culture supernatants were assayed for IL-8 using a sandwich ELISA and chemotactic activity was measured using a chemotactic chamber. Total RNA was also extracted from these cells and IL-8 mRNA was assayed by RT-PCR. In addition, TNF-receptor expression on the Et-treated cells was analyzed by flow cytometry. IL-8 levels in supernatants of cells stimulated with 100 U/ml of TNF-α for 48 h rose significantly with increasing concentrations of Et and values obtained were as follows: 4,918 ± 244.4 pg/ml at 0 mmol/l Et, 5,335 ± 266.2 pg/ml at 5 mmol/l Et, 8,726 ± 873.4 pg/ml at 50 mmol/l Et and 9,134 ± 866.0 pg/ml at 100 mmol/l Et. The chemotactic activity also increased with increasing concentrations of Et and was almost completely suppressed by anti-IL-8 antibody. Using semiquantitative analysis of radioactivity of IL-8 mRNA using a 32P γATP-labeled primer for IL-8 mRNA, Et-treated cells were shown to have markedly higher levels of radioactivity than untreated cells. In addition, TNF-receptor expression was significantly higher in cells treated with 100 mmol/l Et. These data suggest that long-term Et treatment of Chang liver cells stimulated with TNF-α may enhance transcription of the IL-8 gene with up-regulation of the TNF receptor.

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