We examined the expression of CXCL8 (interleukin-8), its receptors, CXCR1 and CXCR2, and vessel density in human melanoma by immunohistochemical analysis of tumors from different Clark levels, depths, and thicknesses. Expression of CXCL8 and CXCR2 was lower in Clark level I and II specimens than in level III through V specimens and metastases. CXCR1 expression was observed ubiquitously in the majority of human melanoma tumor specimens irrespective of disease state, with the highest intensity in Clark level III specimens. We observed a significant difference in CXCL8 and CXCR2 expression between thin (≤0.75 mm) and thick (>0.75 mm) melanomas and between thin and metastatic lesions. Positive correlations were observed between Clark level and CXCL8 or CXCR2 and between thickness and CXCR2 expression. We found no correlation between vessel density and Clark level or thickness. Our data suggest that expression of CXCL8 and CXCR2 contributes to aggressive growth and metastasis in human malignant melanoma. Consistent with the transition from radial to vertical growth phase melanoma, expression of CXCL8 and its receptor, CXCR2, may be key in the switch to an aggressive, more metastatic phenotype.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pathology and Forensic Medicine