What is Interleukin-8, Serum? High and low values | Lab results explained

The Interleukins belong to the family termed cytokines. They are peptides used by immune and inflammatory cells to communicate and control cell operations. 

The cytokines have some similar actions to the Growth Factors but Growth Factors regulate proliferation of non-immune cells. Interleukin-8 is a glycoprotein produced primarily by macrophages and monocytes. Its primary target cells are neutrophils

Interleukin-8 is a chemotactic agent for monocytes and neutrophils. Interleukin 8 causes oxygen radical and enzyme release by neutrophils and mobilizes products into circulation. Interleukin 8 is stimulated by Interleukin 1 and Tumor Necrosis Factor.

Interleukin 8 (IL-8) is a promising marker for many clinical conditions and currently being applied by various subspecialties of medicine either for the purpose of rapid diagnosis or as a predictor of prognosis. Nevertheless, IL-8 level increased as a result of many inflammatory conditions, so careful interpretation of IL-8 level is required to make correlation with desired clinical condition’s diagnosis or prognosis.

IL-8 is involved in neutrophil activation, and is released from several cell types in response to inflammation, including monocytes, macrophages, neutrophils, and intestine, kidney, placenta, and bone marrow cells. It is a member of the beta-thromboglobulin superfamily and is structurally related to platelet factor 4. IL-8 is involved in mitogenesis, inhibition of angiogenesis, inflammation, chemotaxis, neutrophil degranulation, leukocyte activation, and calcium homeostasis.

Promising use of interleukin 8 (IL-8) in various fields of medicine:

Fieldproposed UseReference
Urology and NephrologyMarker for chronic prostatitis[6]
 Marker for acute pyelonephritis[8]
HematologyMarker for non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma[17]
OncologyMarker for urinary bladder cancer[5]
 Therapeutic target to control cancer growth and metastasis[18]
PediatricsMarker for nasocomial bacterial infections in neonatal intensive care unit (NICU)[1516]
 Marker for vesicoureteral reflux (VUR).[9]
MicrobiologyDetection of pulmonary infections[11]
 Detection of osteomyelitis[12]
Nuclear Medicine99mTc-labeled IL-8 scintigraphy for diagnosis of clinical conditions[10]



High levels of IL-8 are reported in chronic inflammatory diseases such as gout, coronary artery disease, rheumatoid arthritis and inflammatory bowel disease (IDB).


Test results may vary depending on your age, gender, health history, the method used for the test, and other things. Your test results may not mean you have a problem. Ask your healthcare provider what your test results mean for you. 

The information on is NOT intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional and is not intended as medical advice.

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