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Cutting Edge: IL-1 Mediates the Proangiogenic Activity of Osteopontin-Activated Human Monocytes

This information is current as of January 7, 2011 Antonella Naldini, Daria Leali, Annalisa Pucci, Emilia Morena, Fabio Carraro, Beatrice Nico, Domenico Ribatti and Marco Presta J Immunol 2006;177;4267-4270


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The Journal of Immunology is published twice each month by The American Association of Immunologists, Inc., 9650 Rockville Pike, Bethesda, MD 20814-3994. Copyright 2006 by The American Association of Immunologists, Inc. All rights reserved. Print ISSN: 0022-1767 Online ISSN: 1550-6606.


CUTTING EDGE Cutting Edge: IL-1 Mediates the Proangiogenic Activity of Osteopontin-Activated Human Monocytes1
Antonella Naldini,2* Daria Leali, Annalisa Pucci,* Emilia Morena,* Fabio Carraro,* Beatrice Nico, Domenico Ribatti, and Marco Presta
Inflammation plays an important role in the onset of angiogenesis. In the present study, we show that osteopontin (OPN), a proinflammatory mediator involved in tissue repair, induces IL-1 up-regulation in human monocytes. This was accompanied by the enhanced production of TNF- , IL-8, and IL-6, a decreased release of IL-10, and increased p38 phosphorylation. The supernatants of OPN-treated monocytes were highly angiogenic when delivered on the chick embryo chorioallantoic membrane. The angiogenic response was completely abrogated by a neutralizing anti-IL-1 Ab, thus indicating that this cytokine represents the major proangiogenic factor expressed by OPNactivated monocytes. Accordingly, rIL-1 mimicked the proangiogenic activity of OPN-treated monocyte supernatants, and IL-1R (type I) was found to be expressed in the chorioallantoic membrane. In conclusion, OPN-activated monocytes may contribute to the onset of angiogenesis through a mechanism mediated by IL-1 . The Journal of Immunology, 2006, 177: 4267 4270.
he causal relationship between inflammation and angiogenesis is now widely accepted (1); however, many of the molecular and cellular mechanisms mediating this relationship remain unresolved. The term angiogenic switch describes the expression of specific genes that alter the balance between pro- and antiangiogenic molecules that participate in blood vessel formation (2). Monocytes/macrophages produce direct and indirect inducers of angiogenesis, as well as angiogenic inhibitors (3, 4). Also, recent observations have shown that IL-1 may act as a potent proangiogenic cytokine (5) and that administration of IL-1 receptor antagonist inhibits tumor growth and neovascularization (6). Osteopontin (OPN)3, also known as early T lymphocyte-activating gene-1 (7), is a phosphorylated acidic RGD-containing glycoprotein that binds certain CD44 variants and integrin receptors (8). OPN exists both as an immobilized extracellular
*Unit of Neuroimmunophysiology, Department of Physiology, University of Siena, Siena, Italy; Unit of General Pathology and Immunology, Department of Biomedical Sciences and Biotechnology, University of Brescia, Brescia, Italy; and Department of Human Anatomy and Histology, University of Bari, Bari, Italy Received for publication April 6, 2006. Accepted for publication July 26, 2006. The costs of publication of this article were defrayed in part by the payment of page charges. This article must therefore be hereby marked advertisement in accordance with 18 U.S.C. Section 1734 solely to indicate this fact.
1 This work was supported by grants from MIUR (Cofin 2004) and Fondazione MPS (to A.N.) and from MIUR (Centro di Eccellenza IDET, FIRB 2001, Cofin 2004), Fondazione

matrix component and as a soluble molecule implicated in inflammation, cell-mediated immunity, tissue remodeling, and tumor metastases (8 10). OPN acts as a proinflammatory cytokine that plays important roles in monocyte/macrophage functions (1113). Experiments performed on OPN-null mice implicate OPN in Th1 cell-mediated immunity during infection, autoimmune demyelinating disease, rheumatoid arthritis, wound healing, and bone resorption (14). In keeping with the tight cross-talk among angiogenic growth factors and cytokines, we have shown that OPN upregulation in endothelial cells may represent a mechanism of amplification of growth factor-induced neovascularization (11). The experimental evidence suggests that OPN may affect angiogenesis indirectly via mononuclear phagocyte recruitment and up-regulation of the expression of monocyte-derived proangiogenic cytokine(s). In the present study, we demonstrate that OPN activates a novel monocyte-mediated mechanism of neovascularization triggered by IL-1 .


Materials and Methods

Recombinant human OPN, recombinant fibroblast growth factor-2 (FGF-2), and mAb to IL-1 , IL-8, and TNF- were obtained from R&D Systems. Recombinant human IL-1 was purchased from Endogen. The serum-free medium HYQCCM1 and FBS were obtained from HyClone. Mouse OPN and its RGD deletion mutant ( RGD-OPN) were expressed in Escherichia coli as GST fusion proteins, as described previously (11). Endotoxin levels were always 0.06 EU/ml (6 pg/ml), as determined by the Limulus amebocyte lysate method (Cambrex). LPS was purchased from Euroclone.


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Monocyte preparation and culture

Human monocytes were obtained from buffy coats of healthy blood donors (through the courtesy of the Blood Center, Siena Medical Center) by Ficoll (Lympholyte-H; Cederlane Laboratories) and Percoll (Amersham Biosciences) gradients, as described previously (11). Where indicated, cells were incubated for 4 24 h with different concentrations of OPN in HYQCCM1 and 1% FBS. Then, conditioned medium (CM) was collected and evaluated either for cytokine content or for its angiogenic activity in the gelatin sponge/chick embryo chorioallantoic membrane (CAM) assay. In parallel, monocytes were lysed, and total RNA was extracted for quantitative RT-PCR (qRT-PCR) analysis.
G. Berlucchi, Istituto Superiore Sanita (Progetto Oncotecnologico), and Associazione ` Italiana per la Ricerca sul Cancro (Italy) (to M.P.).
2 Address correspondence and reprint requests to Dr. Antonella Naldini, Unit of Neuroimmunophysiology, Department of Physiology, University of Siena, Via Aldo Moro, 53100 Siena, Italy. E-mail address: 3 Abbreviations used in this paper: OPN, osteopontin; FGF-2, broblast growth factor-2; CM, conditioned medium; CAM, chorioallantoic membrane; qRT-PCR, quantitative RT-PCR; RGD, Arg-Gly-Asp.

Copyright 2006 by The American Association of Immunologists, Inc.


4268 Measurement of cytokines by ELISA


IL-1 , TNF- , IL-6, IL-8, and IL-10 concentrations were assessed on monocytes supernatants by ELISA using high-performance ELISA reagents (Euroclone). None of the assays showed cross-reactivity with other cytokines. The minimum detectable doses were for IL-1 , TNF- , IL-6, and IL-10 5 pg/ml and for IL-8 25 pg/ml.


IL-1RI mRNA expression in control unstimulated CAM was analyzed by RTPCR. Total RNA was extracted from CAM fragments using the TRIzol Reagent (Invitrogen Life Technologies). RNA samples (2 g) were retrotranscribed with Ready-To-Go You-Prime First Strand Beads (Amersham Biosciences). PCR were performed on cDNA samples using the forward primer, 5 -TGCCATCTTGATCCTCAATG-3 , and the reverse primer, 5 TGGAAGCAAGCCATACACAC-3 (chicken IL-1RI: GenBank accession no. NM_205485). Amplified products were subjected to electrophoresis on agarose gel and visualized by ethidium bromide staining. IL-1 mRNA expression in OPN-treated monocytes was determined by qRT-PCR using a MJ MiniOpticon Cycler (Bio-Rad). Total RNA was isolated using RNAwiz (Ambion). First-strand cDNA synthesis was performed using a iScript cDNA Synthesis kit (Bio-Rad). qRT-PCR was performed using iTaq SYBR Green Supermix with ROX (Bio-Rad) and the following primers: IL-1 forward, 5 -TGATGGCTTATTACAGTGGCAATG-3 , and IL-1 reverse, 5 -GTAGTGGTGGTGGGAGATTCG-3 ; and -actin forward, 5 -CGC CGCCAGCTCACCATG-3 , and -actin reverse, 5 -CACGATGGAGGG GAAGACGG-3 (GenBank accession no. for IL-1 , NM000576, and for -actin, NM001101). Data were quantitatively analyzed on an MJ OpticonMonitor detection system (Bio-Rad). All values were expressed as fold increase relative to the expression of -actin.

Immunohistochemistry and Western blot analysis

IL-1RI immunodetection was performed on deparaffinized 5- m CAM sections (15), using a goat polyclonal anti-mouse IL-1RI Ab (R&D Systems) and a preimmune goat serum as negative control. For Western blot analysis, monocytes were treated with 100 nM OPN, and at different time points, cells were properly lysed. Aliquots (40 g) of the extracted material were analyzed by Western blotting using rabbit polyclonal antiphospho-p38 and anti-pan-p38 Abs (Cell Signaling Technology).

FIGURE 1. OPN induces a proinammatory response in human monocytes. A, OPN induces p38-MAPK activation in human monocytes. Human monocytes were treated with 100 nM OPN at different time points, and cellular extracts were probed with anti-phospho-p38 Ab and an anti-panp38 Ab, as a loading control. BF, OPN modulates cytokine production in human monocytes. Human monocytes were cultured at 106 cells/ml in the presence of 100 nM OPN. After 18 24 h (4 6 h for IL-8) of culture, cell-free supernatants were obtained, and IL-1 , TNF- , IL-8, and IL-6 concentration was determined by ELISA. IL-10 determination was assessed from monocytes cultured in the presence of 100 nM OPN and LPS (0.1 g/ml). The levels of IL-10 in the absence of LPS were undetectable (data not shown). Data are expressed as mean SEM (n 3 6); , p 0.05 by Students t test.

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CAM assay
The CAM of fertilized White Leghorn chicken eggs were added, on day 8, with 1-mm3 sterilized gelatin sponges (Gelfoam Upjohn), as described previously (16). The sponges were loaded with 3 l of PBS as negative control; 3 l of PBS with 500 ng of FGF-2; 3 l of CM from human monocytes pretreated with 100 nM OPN and added or not with a saturating dose (400 ng) of neutralizing anti-IL-1 , anti-IL-8, or anti-TNF- mAb; and 3 l of PBS with 5 ng of IL-1 . CAM were photographed in ovo with a stereomicroscope equipped with a camera and image analyzer system (Olympus Italia). At day 12, the angiogenic response was evaluated as the number of vessels converging toward the sponge.

Endothelial cell migration assay

The CM from control and OPN-treated monocytes were diluted (1/3 v/v) in HYQCCM1 medium plus 1.0% FCS and placed in the lower compartment of a chemotaxis microchamber (Neuroprobe). Murine aortic endothelial cells (50,000 cells/well) were added in the upper compartment. After 4 h at 37C, cells migrated through the gelatin-coated polycarbonate filter (8- m pore size; Neuroprobe) were stained with Diff-Quik (Baxter) and counted in triplicate (five fields per well).

Statistical analysis
Statistical significance between the experimental groups was determined using unpaired Students t test or one-way ANOVA with Dunnetts post hoc test where appropriate.

OPN triggers proinflammatory cytokine production in human monocytes

diators TNF- , IL-8, and IL-6 (Fig. 1, BE). Also, OPN inhibits the release of the anti-inflammatory/antiangiogenic cytokine IL-10 when cells were activated with LPS (Fig. 1F), whereas it has no effect on IL-10 production in resting monocytes (data not shown). The capacity of OPN to up-regulate IL-1 in human monocytes was further investigated. Fig. 2 shows that the effect of OPN on IL-1 protein production is dose dependent with an ED50 equal to 50 ng/ml (Fig. 2A) and paralleled by an increase in steady-state levels of IL-1 mRNA, as assessed by qRT-PCR (Fig. 2B). The effect was statistically significant 16 18 h after stimulation, but it was already detectable at 4 6 h (data not shown). IL-1 was similarly induced by the rGSTOPN fusion protein and the GST- RGD-OPN mutant deleted for the integrin-binding RGD sequence (11), whereas control GST was inactive (Fig. 2, C and D), indicating that integrin engagement is not responsible for IL-1 up-regulation triggered by OPN in human monocytes. Collectively, these results show that OPN induces the release of IL-1 and other proinflammatory/proangiogenic cytokines, such as TNF- , IL-8, and IL-6, and inhibits the production of antiinflammatory/antiangiogenic IL-10 in human monocytes.
OPN-activated monocytes induces angiogenesis via IL-1 production

Human rOPN causes the rapid phosphorylation of p38 stress kinase when administered to freshly isolated monocytes from healthy blood donors (Fig. 1A). Activation of p38 is commonly associated with a proinflammatory response (17). Accordingly, OPN causes a significant increase in the levels of secreted IL-1 protein, as well as of the proinflammatory/proangiogenic me-

The above observations are in agreement with the hypothesis that OPN may cause a switch of the angiogenic balance in human monocytes that favors the neovascularization process. Accordingly, when tested in a Boyden chamber assay, the CM from OPN-treated monocytes exerted a chemotactic response

The Journal of Immunology


FIGURE 2. OPN enhances IL- production in human monocytes. Monocytes were cultured with either different doses of OPN or 100 nM GST, GST-OPN, or GST- RGD-OPN for 18 24 h. IL-1 present in cellfree supernatants was determined by ELISA (A and C). Evaluation of IL-1 mRNA expression in OPN-treated monocytes was determined by qRT-PCR (B and D). All values were expressed as fold increase relative to the expression of -actin. Data are expressed as mean SEM (n 3); , p 0.05 by one-way ANOVA with Dunnetts post hoc test. FIGURE 3. OPN-treated monocytes induce endothelial cell chemotaxis and angiogenesis in the CAM through IL-1 . A, Murine aortic endothelial cells were assessed for their capacity to migrate in response to CM from control and OPN-treated monocytes in a Boyden chamber assay. After 4 h, cells that migrated through the lter were counted in triplicate (ve elds per well) at 250 magnication. Control values obtained in fresh medium (52 8 cells/eld) were subtracted from all the data. , Signicantly different from control CM, p 0.01 by Students t test. B, Gelatin sponges were adsorbed with: vehicle (PBS); rFGF-2; CM from OPN-treated monocytes in the absence (CM) or in the presence of neutralizing anti-IL-1 (CM anti-IL-1 ), anti-IL-8 (CM anti-IL-8), or anti-TNF- (CM anti-TNF- ) mAb; and rIL-1 . Sponges were then implanted onto the CAM. At day 12, blood vessels entering the sponges were counted. Data are the mean SD of 20 embryos. , Signicantly different from CM, p 0.05 by Students t test. CE, Macroscopic images of CAM treated with CM from OPN-treated monocytes in the absence (C) or in the presence (D) of a neutralizing anti-IL-1 mAb. Note the signicantly reduced angiogenic response in D, similar to that observed in the CAM treated with PBS (E). F and G, IL-1RI expression in the CAM. RT-PCR was performed using specic chicken IL-1RI primers on retrotranscribed CAM mRNA ( RT). Nonretrotranscribed CAM mRNA ( RT) was used as control (F). Parafn-embedded CAM sections were nuclear counterstained and decorated with afnity-puried goat polyclonal anti-IL-1RI Ab on day 12. IL1RI immunoreactivity was evident in the endothelium lining the blood vessels (G). Original magnication, 400. No specic signal was observed in CAM in which primary Ab was replaced by preimmune rabbit serum (data not shown).

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for murine aortic endothelial cells significantly higher than that triggered by the CM of control monocytes (Fig. 3). To assess this hypothesis in vivo, the CM from OPN-treated monocytes was delivered onto the CAM at day 8 of development. At day 12, implants were surrounded by numerous allantoic neovessels developing radially toward the implant in a spoked-wheel pattern (Fig. 3B). The response was similar to that elicited by the delivery of human rFGF-2, here used as a positive control (16) (mean number of vessels equal to 35 5 and 32 5 for CM and FGF-2, respectively). It must be pointed out that no significant angiogenic response was observed when fresh medium containing 100 nM OPN, the same dose used to stimulate human monocytes, was applied directly onto the CAM (data not shown). Indeed, this treatment results in the delivery of 18 ng of OPN per embryo, a dose five times lower than the minimal angiogenic dose of the cytokine (11). Thus, these observations confirm the hypothesis that OPN treatment triggers a proangiogenic phenotype in human monocytes. To assess the contribution of IL-1 to this response, CM from OPN-treated monocytes was preincubated with a saturating dose of neutralizing anti-IL-1 mAb before being delivered onto the CAM. As shown in Fig. 3, the Ab completely abolished the neovascular response triggered by the CM, the mean number of blood vessel converging toward the implant being similar (10 3) to that observed in control CAM treated with PBSloaded implants (7 3). In contrast, neutralizing anti-IL-8 or anti-TNF- Abs did not affect the neovascular response induced by the CM. In keeping with these observations, recombinant human IL-1 (5 ng per embryo) caused a potent angiogenic response in the CAM, similar to that induced by the CM from OPNtreated monocytes (Fig. 3). IL-1 exerts its biological effects by interacting with cognate IL-1R (18). Accordingly, IL-1RI mRNA was detectable in CAM extracts by RT-PCR, and IL-

1RI protein was localized on chick embryo endothelium, as shown by immunostaining of CAM sections (Fig. 3).

In the present article, we demonstrate that OPN induces a proangiogenic switch in human monocytes characterized by IL1 , TNF- , IL-8, and IL-6 up-regulation and by IL-10 downmodulation. This extends previous observations about the capacity of OPN to induce proangiogenic cytokines and chemokines (13). Accordingly, the CM from OPN-treated



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monocytes is endowed with a potent angiogenic activity that is fully neutralized by anti-IL-1 Ab but not by anti-TNF- or anti-IL-8 Ab. This observation points out the relevance of IL-1 in OPN-induced angiogenesis; however, we cannot exclude a role for other proangiogenic cytokines and chemokines, such as CXCL1, CXCL2, and CXCL5, in the angiogenic response exerted by OPN. IL-1 is a strong inducer of the hypoxia-inducible factor-1 (19, 20), which positively modulates the transcription of the angiogenic growth factors vascular endothelial growth factor and FGF-2 (21). However, neither vascular endothelial growth factor or FGF-2 up-regulation was observed in human monocytes treated with OPN (data not shown), ruling out the possibility that these growth factors may be involved in OPN-mediated neovascularization. These observations support the hypothesis that the proangiogenic activity of OPN (11) is due, at least in part, to an indirect mechanism of action consequent to the recruitment of proangiogenic monocytes and up-regulation of proinflammatory cytokines. Several experimental evidences support this hypothesis (22). OPN induces a chemotactic response on isolated human monocytes, and OPN-induced angiogenesis is paralleled by the recruitment of a massive mononuclear cell infiltrate (11). In the same study, the GST- RGD-OPN mutant deleted for the integrin-binding RGD sequence retained a chemotactic activity for human monocytes and a proangiogenic potential in the CAM assay similar to that shown by the wild-type molecule (11). Accordingly, in the present study, both GST-OPN and GST- RGD-OPN cause IL-1 up-regulation in human monocytes. Taken together, the data indicate that the IL-1 mediated neovascular response triggered by OPN occurs via an integrin-independent mechanism of action, possibly consequent to OPN/CD44 receptor interaction (12). Monocyte/macrophage functions are deeply affected by OPN (7, 8). OPN is also implicated in Th1 cell-mediated immunity during infection, autoimmune demyelinating disease, rheumatoid arthritis, wound healing, and bone resorption (14, 2325). All these conditions are characterized by mononuclear phagocyte involvement, as well as by the presence of proinflammatory cytokines, including IL-1 (26). Monocytes express a variety of angiogenic factors (2729). Among them, IL-1 plays a pivotal role in angiogenesis (5). In the present study, in keeping with a putative role for recruited monocytes in OPNtriggered angiogenesis, OPN induces the expression and release of IL-1 whose neutralization completely abolishes neovascularization triggered by OPN-activated monocytes. Accordingly, other authors have reported previously that neovascularization is impaired in either IL-1 or OPN-null mice (5, 30). Thus, our data indicate that, through monocyte activation, IL-1 is the master regulator of OPN-induced angiogenesis. The proinflammatory/proangiogenic response induced by OPN may represent an additional mechanism for promoting neovascularization in different physiopathological conditions, including wound healing and tumor growth.

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The authors have no financial conflict of interest.

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