Dual response to Fas ligation in human endothelial cells: apoptosis and induction of chemokines, interleukin-8 and monocyte chemoattractant protein-1

Minako Yamaoka-Tojo, Seiji Yamaguchi, Joji Nitobe, Shuichi Abe, Sumito Inoue, Naoki Nozaki, Masaki Okuyama, Makoto Sata, Isao Kubota, Hidenori Nakamura, Hitonobu Tomoike
Coronary Artery Disease 2003, 14 (1): 89-94

BACKGROUND: To maintain the integrity of tissues, endothelial cells play critical roles. Fas ligand (FasL) is well known to deliver a death signal through its receptor, Fas. The Fas/FasL system may concomitantly induce expressions of interleukin-8 (IL-8) and monocyte chemoattractant protein-1 (MCP-1) besides triggering apoptosis in endothelial cells. We also investigated whether an inhibitor of caspase-8 (Z-IETD-FMK) does modulate IL-8 and MCP-1 secretion.

METHODS AND RESULTS: After treatment with interferon-gamma (IFN-gamma), human recombinant FasL (hr FasL) or Fas agonistic antibody (CH-11) was added to cultured human endothelial cells. IFN-gamma up-regulated Fas mRNA levels. Fas ligation promoted apoptosis assessed by fluorescent-activated cell sorter (FACS) analysis in a dose-dependent manner and induced prominent DNA fragmentation. Simultaneously, IL-8 and MCP-1 were secreted from the endothelial cells in response to hr FasL or CH-11 in a dose-dependent manner (P < 0.01). Fas-neutralizing agent (Fas-Fc) suppressed the Fas-mediated secretions of IL-8 and MCP-1 (P < 0.01) both as well as the Fas-mediated apoptosis. On the other hand, whereas Z-IETD-FMK suppressed apoptosis, the inhibitor enhanced the Fas-mediated secretions of both IL-8 and MCP-1 beyond the value of the Fas stimulation alone (P < 0.01), suggesting an enhanced signalling for the chemokine expression.

CONCLUSION: In human endothelial cells, the Fas/FasL system induces both IL-8 and MCP-1 secretions probably via a caspase-8 independent pathway. The Fas/FasL system may amplify the inflammatory cascade in the vascular injury and atherogenesis by recruiting leukocytes at the region of apoptotic endothelial damage.

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