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Am J Pathol. 1995 Mar;146(3):589-98.

Inhibition of growth of normal and human papillomavirus-transformed keratinocytes in monolayer and organotypic cultures by interferon-gamma and tumor necrosis factor-alpha.

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Department of Pathology, University Hospital of Li├Ęge, Belgium.


The growth response of normal and human papillomavirus (HPV)-transformed cervical keratinocytes to interferon-gamma (IFN-gamma) and tumor necrosis factor-alpha was investigated in monolayer and organotypic raft cultures. The proliferation rates of monolayer cultures were assessed by [3H]TdR incorporation and fluorimetric DNA titration. The growth of keratinocytes in organotypic cultures was estimated by their ability to stratify on collagen rafts and by immunohistochemistry for Ki67 antigen expression. IFN-gamma reduced the DNA synthesis of normal and HPV-transformed keratinocytes in monolayer cultures and exerted a marked growth inhibitory effect in organotypic raft cultures. In control raft cultures, normal keratinocytes produced an epithelial sheet of approximately 10 cells in thickness that closely resembled normal cervical epithelium and was characterized by sparse Ki67 antigen-positive cells whereas HPV-transformed keratinocytes produced up to 15 poorly differentiated epithelial layers that were reminiscent of high grade cervical lesions seen in vivo and exhibited a full thickness Ki67 antigen expression. When normal and HPV-transformed keratinocytes were maintained in the presence of IFN-gamma, the epithelial sheet was reduced to a few cells in thickness and the density of Ki67 antigen-positive cells was decreased. A more pronounced growth inhibitory effect in monolayer and organotypic cultures was observed when IFN-gamma was associated with tumor necrosis factor-alpha Tumor necrosis factor-alpha alone reduced the DNA synthesis of normal keratinocytes but was significantly less effective than IFN-gamma to inhibit the growth of HPV-transformed keratinocytes. These results suggest that similar responses in vivo to regulatory molecules may play a role in the development of HPV-related lesions.

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