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ABSTRACT: Extracellular RNA has been shown to induce vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF)-dependent hyperpermeability in vivo as well as in vitro. Studies were performed to investigate the mechanism of these effects. For permeability studies primary cultures of porcine brain-derived microvascular endothelial cells (BMECs) and for all other analytical studies the human brain endothelial cell line HCMEC/D3 or human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVECs) were used. RNA, but not DNA, initiated signaling events by binding of VEGF to neuropilin-1, followed by VEGF-R2 phosphorylation, activation of phospholipase C (PLC), and intracellular release of Ca(2+). Activation of these pathways by RNA also resulted in the release of von Willebrand Factor from Weibel-Palade bodies. Pretreatment of cells with heparinase totally abrogated the RNA-induced permeability changes, whereas RNA together with VEGF completely restored VEGF-R2-mediated hyperpermeability. Although poly:IC increased the interleukin-6 release via activation of toll-like receptor-3 (TLR-3), permeability changes mediated by poly:IC or RNA remained unchanged after blocking TLR-3 or NF-kB activation. These results indicate that extracellular RNA serves an important cofactor function to engage VEGF for VEGF-R2-dependent signal transduction, reminiscent of the coreceptor mechanism mediated by proteoglycans, which might be of relevance for the mobilization and cellular activities of RNA-binding cytokines in general.
The FASEB Journal 03/2009; 23(7):2100-9. · 5.70 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Experimental tumor vaccination and adoptive T-cell therapies show that interferon-gamma (IFN-gamma)-producing CD4(+) T helper cells (Th1) can be highly effective in tumor prevention and therapy. Unexpectedly, first vaccine trials in humans revealed that tumor immune therapy may not only be protective, but, on the contrary, even promote tumor progression. Here, we analyzed T-cell immune responses to the epithelial cell adhesion molecule (EpCAM), one of the most common tumor-associated antigens (TAA) serving as immune target in colon cancer patients. Th-cell priming against EpCAM inevitably resulted in interleukin-4 (IL-4)-dominated Th2 responses, even under most stringent Th1-inducing conditions. These EpCAM-reactive Th2 cells rather promoted growth of EpCAM-expressing tumors. To analyze the role of IL-4 in tumor immune evasion, we generated EpCAM-reactive Th1 cells from IL-4.ko mice. These Th1 cells provided tumor-specific protection and established highly protective Th1 memory responses, even in naive BALB/c mice. Inhibition of tumor growth by Th1 cells resulted in intra-tumoral expression of cytokines of the IL-12 family and of IFN-gamma. Preventing activation-associated death of Th1 cells further increased intratumoral IFN-gamma expression and improved therapeutic efficacy. Thus, human TAA may promote tumor immune evasion by strongly favoring Th2 development.
Blood 03/2009; 113(15):3494-502. · 9.06 Impact Factor
Vascular Pharmacology - VASC PHARMACOL. 01/2006; 45(3).