Proinflammatory cytokines that are produced by helper T cells (Th) regulate immune reactions, facilitate class switching of B cells, and prolong the lifespan of B and T cells. Eradication therapy using antibiotics is sometimes effective against gastrointestinal (GI) malignant lymphoma, suggesting that the tumor development or progression is affected by the inflammatory microenvironment. In the present study, serum samples from 148 patients with various subtypes of malignant lymphoma were tested for 11 proinflammatory Th1/Th2 cytokines. In the comparison by subtype or GI lesions, serum interleukin (IL)-8 (P=6.7E-05), IL-4 (P=7.5E-05), and IL-1β (P=0.0043) levels showed significant differences among subtypes, being particularly elevated in follicular lymphomas (FL) and mucosa-associated lymphoid tissue (MALT) lymphomas. Serum IL-8 levels were elevated in GI-FL and MALT lymphomas, and serum IL-4 and IL-1 β levels were elevated in MALT lymphomas. These findings show that GI low-grade B-cell lymphoma could develop against the background of an inflammatory microenvironment. Thus, these cytokines may be useful as diagnostic markers and could provide new insights into tumor development.
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