Elevated levels of IL-8, TGF-β, and TNF-α associated with pneumoconiosis: A meta-analysis
(1) Shanghai American School, Shanghai, China, (2) Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Shanghai, China
There have been multiple studies over the years looking into the role of cytokines, which are regulators of inflammation in the development of pneumoconiosis. The aim of this study to determine whether serum levels of certain cytokines can be useful as biomarkers for pneumoconiosis. To date, the most investigated cytokines have been Interleukin 8 (IL-8), transforming growth factor beta 1 (TGF-β1), and tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-α). Results from previous studies generally show that the serum levels of these cytokines are altered in pneumoconiosis, however not all of these deviations are statistically significant. Here we attempt to determine whether levels of IL-8, TGF-β1, and TNF-α are significantly related to pneumoconiosis, by conducting a meta-analysis of 11 studies on the serum levels of three cytokines: IL-8, TGF-β1, and TNF-α. The meta-analysis concluded that pneumoconiosis patients display significantly elevated levels of IL-8 and TNF-α. The meta-analysis for serum TGF-β1 in pneumoconiosis patients failed to reach statistical significance. The results of the meta-analysis suggest that serum levels of IL-8 and TNF-α could be utilized in the diagnosis of pneumoconiosis, and further studies should be conducted to investigate the correlation strength of these two cytokines with pneumoconiosis.