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J Biol Chem. 1990 Feb 15;265(5):2973-8.

Tumor necrosis factor-alpha induction of novel gene products in human endothelial cells including a macrophage-specific chemotaxin.

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  • 1Department of Pathology, University of Michigan Medical School, Ann Arbor 48109.


Cytokines such as tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF) profoundly affect endothelial cell function, promoting for example interaction with leukocytes and inducing a procoagulant phenotype. Changes of this nature are likely to be central to the proinflammatory effects of TNF. In order to elucidate molecular mechanisms by which TNF alters endothelial cell function we utilized differential plaque hybridization to identify TNF-responsive genes. Forty TNF-inducible cDNAs were identified which on cross-hybridization were found to arise from six unique genes. DNA sequencing of these cDNAs revealed two encoded known cytokine-induced genes, endothelial leukocyte adhesion molecule 1 and neutrophil chemotactic factor. One of the cDNAs encodes a recently described monocyte-specific chemotactic factor not previously associated with endothelium. The production of a monocyte chemotaxin by cytokine-activated endothelium has important implications for understanding the role of the vessel wall in disease states such as atherosclerosis and may also in part explain the indirect angiogenic activity of TNF. The three other cDNAs are completely novel as judged by data bank searches of partial DNA sequences and remain unidentified. On exposure of endothelial cells to TNF there is a rapid and substantial increase in levels of mRNA encoding the six genes, which are further superinduced by cycloheximide. Thus these represent primary response genes as their induction does not depend on protein synthesis. Interleukin-1 beta and lipopolysaccharide are also potent inducers. Nuclear run-on studies revealed that in most cases induction by TNF is mediated largely at the transcriptional level.

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