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J Invest Dermatol. 1992 Feb;98(2):147-53.

Cytokine regulation of proliferation and ICAM-1 expression of human dermal microvascular endothelial cells in vitro.

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  • 1Department of Dermatology, University Medical Center Steglitz, Free University, Berlin, Germany.


The effects of recombinant human interleukin 1 alpha (IL-1 alpha), interleukin 1 beta (IL-1 beta), interleukin 6 (IL-6), granulocyte/macrophage colony-stimulating factor (GM-CSF) and tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF) on the cell proliferation and the expression of intercellular adhesion molecule-1 (ICAM-1) were assessed in cultured human dermal microvascular endothelial cells (HDMEC). IL-1 alpha and IL-1 beta stimulated the proliferation of HDMEC in a dose-dependent manner, whereas in control experiments using human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVEC), IL-1 alpha and IL-1 beta did not stimulate HUVEC growth. Also GM-CSF stimulated the proliferation of HDMEC, whereas IL-6 did not affect endothelial cell growth in vitro. Treatment with IL-1 alpha, IL-1 beta, and TNF markedly increased the expression of ICAM-1 on HDMEC in a time- and dose-dependent manner, in contrast to IL-6 and GM-CSF. By pre-embedding immunoelectron microscopy, membrane-bound expression of ICAM-1 was visualized with pronounced labeling in areas of microvillous cell protrusions. The TNF-induced expression of ICAM-1 on HDMEC was blocked by co-incubation with a neutralizing antibody against TNF, but not with neutralizing antibodies against IL-1 alpha, IL-1 beta, or IL-6. In addition, co-incubation of HDMEC with TNF and the retinoid compound acitretin, dexamethasone, or indomethacin did not abrogate the TNF-induced ICAM-1 expression. These results disclose IL-1 as a major, multifunctional endothelial cell-targeted cytokine and further confirm the concept that pro-inflammatory cytokines exert differential regulatory effects on dermal microvascular endothelial cell proliferation and expression of cell-adhesion molecules.

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