We hypothesized that in head and neck squamous cell carcinoma, the overexpression of protumorigenic interleukin-1 (IL-1) activity within the tumor tissue is a result of decreased expression of the specific antagonist or inhibitor (ie, IL-1 receptor antagonist) by the tumor cells. Ultimately, this local overexpression of IL-1 activity increases tumor growth and metastasis.
To test our hypotheses, immunologic analysis for IL-1α, IL-1β, and IL-1 receptor antagonist was performed on histologic sections and tumor homogenates of human head and neck squamous cell carcinomas.
University teaching hospital.
Patients or Other Participants:
Normal and tumor specimens were obtained from patients undergoing surgical resections of the head and neck for benign and malignant disease.
Immunohistochemical analysis demonstrated the presence of IL-1α, IL-1β, and IL-1 receptor antagonist within tumor cells and inflammatory cells in the tumor stroma in 19 of 19 tumor specimens. Quantitatively, IL-1α was present in 19 of 19 tumor specimens (1.97±0.46 ng/mg of total protein [mean±SD]) and 5 of 9 normal specimens (0.23±0.12 ng/mg of total protein). All specimens contained IL-1β in detectable quantities (1.60±0.29 ng/mg of total protein in tumor specimens and 0.189±0.04 ng/mg of total protein in normal specimens). All specimens contained IL-1 receptor antagonist (368.87±57.63 ng/mg of total protein in tumor specimens and 585.10± 166.03 ng/mg of total protein in normal specimens). The mean total IL-1/IL-1 receptor antagonist ratio was 13.26±2.31 in patients with cancer compared with 0.997±0.26 in normal patients.
The increased IL-1 index in the cancer state compared with the normal state reflects an imbalance of IL-1 and IL-1 receptor antagonist, which may contribute to unrestricted growth and metastasis of head and neck squamous cell carcinoma.Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 1996;122:751-759
von Biberstein SE, Spiro JD, Lindquist R, Kreutzer DL. Interleukin-1 Receptor Antagonist in Head and Neck Squamous Cell Carcinoma. Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 1996;122(7):751–759. doi:10.1001/archotol.1996.01890190047012
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