TNFalpha-mediated induction of PAI-1 restricts invasion of HTR-8/SVneo trophoblast cells

A V Huber, L Saleh, S Bauer, P Husslein, M Knöfler
Placenta 2006, 27 (2): 127-36
The pro-inflammatory cytokine TNFalpha has numerous effects on placental trophoblasts. Here, we investigated the effects of the cytokine on gene expression and function of the extravillous trophoblast cell line HTR-8/SVneo. Wound healing and Matrigel invasion assays demonstrate that TNFalpha impairs motility and invasiveness. In contrast, counting of cumulative cell numbers and FACS analyses revealed that the cytokine did neither affect proliferation nor distribution of cell cycle phases. Immunocytochemistry of the cytokeratin 18 neo-epitope suggests that TNFalpha did not induce apoptosis in HTR-8/SVneo cells. Gelatine zymography and enzyme activity assays of supernatants of TNFalpha-treated cells demonstrate elevation of the pro- and active form of MMP-9 suggesting that increased expression of the protease cannot overcome the TNFalpha-inhibitory effect on cell invasion. Semi-quantitative RT-PCR analyses suggest that the cytokine may not alter mRNA levels of uPA and tPA. However, elevated expression of PAI-1 was detected by RT-PCR, as well as by Northern and Western blot analyses. Supplementation of PAI-1-blocking antibodies restored invasion of TNF-alpha-incubated HTR-8/SVneo cells through Matrigel-coated transwells. In addition, immunocytochemistry revealed nuclear accumulation of the p65 subunit of NFkappaB in the presence of the cytokine. EMSA indicated TNFalpha-induced binding of the inflammatory transcription factor to an NFkappaB consensus sequence and to the NFkappaB recognition site located in the PAI-1 promoter. The data suggest that TNFalpha restricts trophoblast invasion mainly by increasing the expression of PAI-1. Induction of the inhibitor may involve TNFalpha-stimulated activation of NFkappaB.

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