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Biochem Pharmacol. 1999 Feb 1;57(3):291-302.

Enhancement of the surface expression of tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNFalpha) but not the p55 TNFalpha receptor in the THP-1 monocytic cell line by matrix metalloprotease inhibitors.

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  • 1Cancer Research, Abbott Laboratories, Abbott Park, IL 60064-3500, USA.


The monocytic cell line THP-1 can be induced to express and release tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNFalpha) and both TNFalpha receptors (p55 and p75) upon exposure to bacterial lipopolysaccharide (LPS). The broad-spectrum matrix metalloprotease (MMP) inhibitors [4-(N-hydroxyamino)-2R-isobutyl-3S-(phenylthiomethyl)succinyl]-L-p henylalanine-N-methylamide (GI-129471) and marimastat [2S-[N4(R*),2R*,3S*]]-N4[2,2-dimethyl-1-[(methylamino)carbonyl]propyl]-N 1,2-dihydroxy-3-(2-methylpropyl)butanediamide (BB-2516) were effective inhibitors of LPS-induced TNFalpha (soluble) release with IC50 values of 0.2 and 4.0 microM, respectively. Upon LPS stimulation, the expression of pro-TNFalpha (membrane associated) on the cell surface (FACS analysis) could not be observed. However, in the presence of GI-129471, a concentration-dependent increase in TNFalpha surface expression was observed. Peak expression (percentage of cells expressing pro-TNFalpha and mean fluorescence units) in the presence of GI-129471 was at 2 hr, and steadily declined to return to near control levels by 8 hr. This time course was similar to TNFalpha release, which also peaked at 2-4 hr after LPS exposure and then declined. Stimulation of THP-1 cells with LPS + phorbol myristate acetate increased the percentage of cells expressing pro-TNFalpha by 10-fold. In the presence of GI-129471, these increases were augmented further and peaked between 2 and 4 hr, but also returned to near control levels of expression by 24 hr. This was in contrast to the release of soluble TNFalpha, which continued to accumulate over a 24-hr time course. TNFalpha receptor I (p55, TNFRI) and II (p75, TNFRII) shedding was also inhibited by GI-129471 (IC50 = 1.5 and 3.1 microM, respectively) and BB-2516 (IC50 = 14 and 15 microM, respectively). Unlike pro-TNFalpha surface expression, surface expression of both TNFalpha receptors steadily increased over 72 hr. In contrast to pro-TNFalpha surface expression, TNFRI surface expression was not augmented by these MMP inhibitors in THP-1 cells after LPS stimulation. Surface expression of TNFRII was augmented by these MMP inhibitors. These results suggest that even in the continued presence of LPS stimulation and an inhibitor of TNFalpha processing, the augmented surface expression of TNFalpha is transient. The potential "deleterious" implications of high levels of surface pro-TNFalpha expression in the presence of these inhibitors may be lessened by its transient nature.

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