Experimental Cell Research vol:303 issue:2 pages:331-342
The precise role of chemokines in neovascularization during inflammation or tumor growth is not yet fully understood. We show here that the chemokines granulocyte chemotactic protein-2 (GCP-2/CXCL6), interleukin-8 (IL-8/CXCL8), and monocyte chemotactic protein-1 (MCP-1/CCL2) are co-induced in microvascular endothelial cells after stimulation with pro-inflammatory stimuli. In contrast with its weak proliferative effect on endothelial cells, GCP-2 synergized with MCP-1 in neutrophil chemotaxis. This synergy may represent a mechanism for tumor development and metastasis by providing efficient leukocyte infiltration in the absence of exogenous immune modulators. To mimic endothelial cell-derived GCP-2 in vivo, GCP-2 was intravenously injected and shown to provoke a dose-dependent systemic response, composed of an immediate granulopenia, followed by a profound granulocytosis. By immunohistochemistry, GCP-2 was further shown to be expressed by endothelial cells from human patients with gastrointestinal (GI) malignancies. GCP-2 staining correlated with leukocyte infiltration into the tumor and with the expression of the matrix metalloproteinase-9 (MMP-9/gelatinase B). Together with previous findings, these data suggest that the production of GCP-2 by endothelial cells within the tumor can contribute to tumor development through neovascularization due to endothelial cell chemotaxis and to tumor cell invasion and metastasis by attracting and activating neutrophils loaded with proteases that promote matrix degradation.