Regulation of endothelial VCAM-1 expression in murine cardiac grafts: Roles for TNF and IL4

S. Bergese, R. Pelletier, D. Vallera, M. Widmer, C. Orosz

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22 Scopus citations


The in vivo mechanisms of vascular endothelial activation and VCAM-1 expression were studied in murine heterotopic cardiac grafts. Preliminary studies demonstrated that cardiac allograft endothelia develop reactivity with MECA-32 monoclonal antibody (MAb) and M/K-2 (anti-VCAM-1) MAb within 3 days of transplantation, whereas cardiac isografts develop MECA-32 reactivity but no M/K-2 reactivity. Additional studies demonstrated that a single treatment of cardiac isograft recipients with the anti-CD3 MAb 145-2C11 induces VCAM-1 expression on isograft microvascular endothelia within 24 hours. We have used this experimental system to identify the cytokines responsible for expression of VCAM-1 and MECA-32 MAb reactivity on graft vascular endothelia. We report that the expression of VCAM-1 on isograft endothelia that was induced with anti-CD3 MAb was blocked by simultaneous treatment with either pentoxifylline, soluble tumor necrosis factor (TNF) receptor (TNFR:Fc), anti-IL4 MAb, or soluble IL4R, but not by anti-IFN-γ MAb. Alternatively, a similar pattern of isograft endothelial VCAM-1 expression was stimulated in the absence of anti-CD3 MAbs with a single injection of human recombinant TNF-α, or with recombinant murine IL4 provided as IL4/anti-IL4 MAb complexes. In addition, the IL4-induced VCAM-1 expression was completely blocked by a single intravenous treatment of the isograft recipients with TNFR:Fc. This suggests that high concentrations of TNF-α can stimulate endothelial VCAM-1 expression, but these concentrations are apparently not achieved in cardiac isografts. In the absence of an inducing agent such as anti-CD3 MAb, the stimulation of VCAM-1 expression with exogenous IL4 may reflect functional interaction between endogenous TNF and exogenous IL4, as suggested by the blocking experiments with TNFR:Fc. Although cardiac isograft endothelia normally develop reactivity with MECA- 32 MAb within 3 days of transplantation, treatment of cardiac isograft recipients with anti-CD3 MAb accelerated MECA-32 reactivity to within 24 hours of transplantation. This accelerated expression can be experimentally manipulated in the same way as M/K-2 reactivity, suggesting that similar mechanisms may control the development of these two inflammatory endothelial phenotypical markers, despite their differential expression in cardiac isografts and allografts.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)989-998
Number of pages10
JournalAmerican Journal of Pathology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 1995


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