CXCL17 is expressed in a variety of cancers and promotes tumor progression by recruiting myeloid-derived suppressor cells (MDSCs). MDSCs suppress tumor immunity by attracting regulatory T cells (Tregs) into tumor sites through CCL5. In this study, we examined the role of CXCL17 in skin disorders. CXCL17 mRNA levels in psoriasis skin, but not in lesional skin of atopic dermatitis or cutaneous T cell lymphoma, were significantly higher than those in normal skin. CXCL17 was mainly expressed in the epidermis, and IFN-γ dose-dependently increased CXCL17 expression by human keratinocytes in vitro. As CXCL17 mRNA expression was increased by treatment with imiquimod (IMQ), we examined the effects of CXCL17 in IMQ-induced psoriasis-like skin inflammation. Injection of recombinant CXCL17 into the ear before and during IMQ application decreased ear thickness, inflammatory cytokine expression, and the number of infiltrating cells compared with PBS injection. Flow cytometric analysis and immunofluorescent staining revealed that the numbers of MDSCs, which are CD11b+Gr-1+, and that of Tregs, which are CD4+CD25+, were higher in the ear of the CXCL17-injected mice than in PBS-injected mice. MDSCs, but not Tregs, showed chemotaxis to CXCL17 in vitro. When mice were injected with anti-CCL5 Ab or anti-CCL4 Ab simultaneously with recombinant CXCL17, ear thickness and cytokine expression increased to a similar level of mice treated with PBS and control IgG, suggesting that these chemokines were important for anti-inflammatory effects. Taken together, CXCL17 attenuates IMQ-induced psoriasis-like skin inflammation by recruiting MDSCs and Tregs, which may be important for regulating excessive inflammation in psoriasis skin.
Tumor growth and metastasis of cancer involve autonomous tumor cell growth and host-tumor interactions. While tumor-specific immunity has been intensively studied in vitro, dynamic roles of lymphatic transport on tumor immunity in vivo have not been fully elucidated. In this study, we examined tumor growth and anti-tumor immune responses using kCYC mice, which demonstrate severe lymphatic dysfunction. Primary tumor growth was augmented in kCYC mice (compared to wild-type mice) when B16 melanoma or EL-4 lymphoma cells were subcutaneously injected. Expression of inflammatory cytokines such as IFN-γ, TNF-α, and IL-2 as well as IL-10 expression in draining lymph nodes (LNs) was significantly reduced in kCYC mice after tumor inoculation. Moreover, decreased levels of tumor-associated antigens were detected in draining LNs in kCYC mice, together with impaired antigen presentation. CD8+ T cells in draining LNs derived from kCYC mice bearing B16 melanoma also showed significantly decreased cytotoxic activity in vitro. Finally, tumor suppression activity of CD8+ T cells derived from kCYC mice bearing B16 melanoma was reduced when adoptively transferred to naive wild-type mice. In summary, these findings suggest that lymphatic transport is essential in generating optimal tumor-specific immune responses mediated by CD8+ T cells.
Whereas atopic dermatitis (AD) is considered as a T helper 2 (Th2)-centered disease, IL-17eproducing Th (Th17) cells are also activated in AD lesional skin. However, the relationship between Th17 responses and Th2 responses in AD is still to be elucidated. Although Th17 cells are increased in AD skin, the expression and function of IL-26, which is also produced by Th17 cells, in AD are still unknown. In this report, we demonstrated that IL-26 mRNA expression levels were elevated in AD lesional skin compared with healthy controls and that IL-26-producing cells were increased in AD lesional skin by immunohistochemistry. Furthermore, IL-26 promoted IL-8, IL-1b, chemokine (C-C motif) ligand 20, IL-33, and b-defensin 2 production in keratinocytes through phosphorylation of signal transducer and activator of transcription 1 and signal transducer and activator of transcription 3. Selective JAK inhibitors for JAK1, JAK2, and tyrosine kinase 2 blocked IL-26einduced cytokine production in keratinocytes. We also showed that injection of IL-26 exacerbated an oxazolone-induced AD mouse model and upregulated Th2 and Th17 cytokine expression in vivo. Because previous studies indicate that the above molecules induced by IL-26 can promote Th17 and/or Th2 immune responses, IL-26 may play an important role for bridging between Th17 and Th2 responses, resulting in the development of AD.
CD137 and its ligand, CD137L, are expressed on activated T cells and antigen-presenting cells, respectively. Recent studies have shown that CD137L and CD137 are aberrantly expressed by tumor cells, especially in some hematopoietic malignancies, and interactions between these molecules on tumor cells promote tumor growth. In this study, we investigated the roles of CD137L and CD137 in cutaneous T-cell lymphoma (CTCL), represented by mycosis fungoides and Sézary syndrome. Flow cytometric analysis showed that primary Sézary cells and CTCL cell lines (Hut78, MyLa, HH, SeAx, and MJ) aberrantly expressed CD137L. CD137L expression by tumor cells in CTCL was also confirmed by immunohistochemistry. Anti-CD137L-neutralizing antibody inhibited proliferation, survival, CXCR4-mediated migration, and in vivo growth in CTCL cell lines through inhibition of phosphorylation of AKT, extracellular signal-regulated kinase 1/2, p38 MAPK, and JNK. Moreover, suppression of CD137L signaling decreased antiapoptotic proteins Bcl-2 and phosphorylated Bad. We also explored the transcription factor regulating CD137L expression. Because GATA6 has been proposed as an oncogene in many types of tumors with aberrant CD137L expression, we examined GATA6 expression and the involvement of GATA6 in CD137L expression in CTCL. DNA hypomethylation and histone acetylation induced GATA6 overexpression in CTCL cells. Furthermore, chromatin immunoprecipitation, luciferase reporter assay, and knockdown by short hairpin RNA showed that GATA6 directly upregulated CD137L expression. Inhibition of GATA6 resulted in decreased survival and in vivo growth in CTCL cells. Collectively, our findings prompt a novel therapeutic approach to CTCL based on the discovery that the GATA6/CD137L axis plays an important role in the tumorigenesis of CTCL.
Th2 cytokines highly expressed in CTCL lesional skin induce IL-25 production by epidermal keratinocytes, which may, in turn, lead to formation of a Th2-dominant microenvironment through the direct induction of IL-13 by tumour cells.
Angiogenesis is regarded as an essential step in supporting tumour growth and metastasis. In haematological malignancies, including cutaneous T-cell lymphoma (CTCL), angiogenesis is increased and serum levels of some pro-angiogenic markers are elevated. The aim of this study was to investigate expression levels of placental growth factor (PlGF) and vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF)-A in lesional skin and sera in patients with CTCL, and to assess the association of these factors with development of CTCL. A further aim was to investigate the effect of PlGF on lymphoma cell growth in vivo using a tumour inoculation model. Expression of PlGF and VEGF-A were significantly elevated in CTCL skin. Tumour cells expressed PlGF in some cases. Serum PlGF levels were increased in patients with advanced CTCL and correlated with disease markers. Moreover, PlGF enhanced lymphoma cell growth in vivo through increasing tumour vasculature. These findings suggest that angiogenesis plays a role in the progression of CTCL and raises the possibility of using inhibitors of PlGF in CTCL therapy.
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