Interleukin-2 alters distribution of CD144 (VE-cadherin) in endothelial cells

Dae W. Kim, Andrew Zloza, Joseph Broucek, Jason M. Schenkel, Carl Ruby, Georges Samaha, Howard L. Kaufman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


Background: High-dose IL-2 (HDIL2) is approved for the treatment of metastatic melanoma and renal cell carcinoma, but its use is limited in part by toxicity related to the development of vascular leak syndrome (VLS). Therefore, an understanding of the mechanisms that underlie the initiation and progression of HDIL2-induced increases in endothelial cell (EC) permeability leading to VLS are of clinical importance.Methods: We established a novel ex vivo approach utilizing primary human pulmonary microvascular ECs to evaluate EC barrier dysfunction in response to IL-2.Results: Complementary in vitro studies using exogenous IL-2 and ex vivo studies using serum from patients treated with IL-2 demonstrate that HDIL2 induces VLS through CD144 (vascular endothelial (VE)-cadherin) redistribution.Conclusions: These findings provide new insight into how IL-2 induces VLS and identifies VE-cadherin as a potential target for preventing IL-2-related VLS.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number113
JournalJournal of Translational Medicine
Issue number1
StatePublished - May 6 2014
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by the grant RO1 CA093696 from the National Cancer Institute (to HLK). We thank Dr. Qin Wang for help in conceptual design of the pulmonary microvascular endothelial system.


  • CD144
  • Interleukin-2
  • VE-cadherin
  • Vascular leak syndrome


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