Novel Pseudomonas product stimulates interleukin-8 production in airway epithelial cells in vitro.


Because high concentrations of IL-8 are found in the sputum of cystic fibrosis patients, we hypothesized that Pseudomonas aeruginosa (PA) induces the production of IL-8 in airway epithelial cells and in monocytes. Therefore, we incubated the supernatant from PA culture with human transformed bronchial epithelial cells (16-HBE) or with monocytes. The culture medium of 16-HBE cells that had been incubated with PA supernatant for 6 h had chemotactic activity that was inhibited by an antibody to human IL-8. The PA supernatant induced IL-8 production by primary bronchial epithelial cells, by 16-HBE cells, and by monocytes. After incubation with PA supernatant, 16-HBE cells showed a marked increase in the levels of IL-8 gene expression. The PA product responsible for IL-8 production resisted freezing, boiling, and proteolysis. This product was not lipid extractable and was present in a 1-kD filtrate. We conclude that a small molecular mass product of PA stimulates IL-8 production by 16-HBE cells and by monocytes, and that the chemotactic activity produced by 16-HBE cells after exposure to PA is due principally to IL-8.