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Eur J Immunol. 1999 Oct;29(10):3225-35.

Expression and release of chemokines associated with apoptotic cell death in human promonocytic U937 cells and peripheral blood mononuclear cells.

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Zentrum der Pharmakologie, Klinikum der Johann Wolfgang Goethe-Universität Frankfurt am Main, Frankfurt am Main, Germany.


To characterize mechanisms which may determine the fate of apoptotic cells, we investigated chemokine expression in apoptotic promonocytic U937 cells or peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC). Exposure of U937 cells to etoposide (VP-16) or the nitric oxide (NO) donor DETA-NO, both inducers of apoptosis in these cells, was associated with increased expression of the chemokines IL-8 and macrophage inflammatory protein-1 alpha. Up-regulation of IL-8 mRNA expression by VP-16 or DETA-NO was observed as early as 4 h or 6 h, respectively, after onset of treatment and was still detectable after 19 h of exposure. A serine protease inhibitor prevented both VP-16-induced apoptosis and release of IL-8, whereas inhibition of p38 MAP kinases reduced IL-8 secretion only. Moreover, we observed that incubation with 2-chlorodeoxyadenosine (CdA) up-regulated release of IL-8 from adherent PBMC in parallel to induction of apoptosis. In these cells a modest but significant induction of TNF-alpha release by CdA was also detected. In addition, CdA augmented release of IL-8 from whole blood cultures. By facilitating adequate recruitment of phagocytes to sites of cell death, stress-induced up-regulation of chemokines associated with apoptosis may contribute to mechanisms aiming at efficient removal of apoptotic cells.

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