Although CD40 is expressed by several tumor lines and is up-regulated in tumor vascular endothelium, its role in tumor biology is still unclear. In the present study, we investigated the role of CD40 in the growth and vascularization of Kaposi's sarcoma (KS). In vitro, stimulation of CD40 induced migration of KS cells and inhibited vincristine-induced apoptosis. Similarly, the CD40 engagement on endothelial cells resulted in cell contraction, migration, and prevention of serum withdrawal-apoptosis. To understand the biological relevance of CD40 in vivo, KS cells were engineered to express and release a soluble form of CD40 (KS-sCD40) able to disrupt CD40-CD154 interaction. SCID mice s.c. injected with KS-sCD40 cells developed tumors that were significantly smaller than those induced by control cells (KS-neo). In addition, KS-sCD40 tumors showed several areas of necrosis, diffuse presence of apoptotic cells, and poor vascularization. In contrast, KS-neo tumors showed few or absent areas of necrosis and apoptosis and intense vascularization. Moreover, anti-CD40 Abs stimulated neo-angiogenesis in a murine model in which s.c. implantation of Matrigel was used as a vehicle for the delivery of mediators. These observations provide demonstration that CD40 supports tumor cell survival, growth, and neo- vascularization of KS.
|Number of pages||8|
|Journal||Journal of Immunology|
|Publication status||Published - Dec 1 1999|
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