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Clin Exp Immunol. 2001 May;124(2):208-13.

Colonic epithelial cells induce endothelial cell expression of ICAM-1 and VCAM-1 by a NF-kappaB-dependent mechanism.

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Department of Medicine B, and Department of Biochemistry and Pathobiochemistry, University of Münster, Münster, Germany.


Epithelial cells are positioned in close proximity to endothelial cells. A non-contact coculture system was used to investigate whether colonic epithelial cells activated with various cytokines are able to provide signals that can modulate ICAM-1 and VCAM-1 expression on endothelial cells. Coculture of human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVEC) and human microvascular endothelial cells (HMEC-1) with TNF-alpha/IFN-gamma-stimulated human colon epithelial cell lines led to a significant up-regulation of endothelial ICAM-1 and VCAM-1 expression. Increased ICAM-1 and VCAM-1 expression by endothelial cells was accompanied by an increase in endothelial cell NF-kappaB p65 and NF-kappaB-DNA-binding activity. Inhibition of endothelial NF-kappaB activation using the proteosome inhibitors MG-132 and BAY 11-7082 resulted in a significant decrease of ICAM-1 expression, indicating an important role for NF-kappaB in this response. This cross-talk may represent a biological mechanism for the gut epithelium to control the colonic inflammatory response and the subsequent immune cell recruitment during inflammation.

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