Interferon-Gamma and Tumor Necrosis Factor-Related Weak Inducer of Apoptosis Expression in Neoangiogenesis in Colorectal Polypoid Lesions

Cesare Ruffolo, Luisa Toffolatti, Marco Massani, Anna Pozza, Marta Campo Dell'Orto, Luca M Saadeh, Francesco Ferrara, Stefano Benvenuti, Angelo P Dei Tos, Nicolò Bassi, Andromachi Kotsafti, Marco Scarpa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

BACKGROUND: Interferon gamma (IFNγ) and tumor necrosis factor-related weak inducer of apoptosis (TWEAK) molecules seem to have a potential effect on angiogenic factors such as vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF). The aim of this study was to assess a possible interplay between IFNγ and TWEAK cytokines and VEGF machinery in the different steps of colorectal carcinogenesis.

METHODS: A total of 92 subjects with colonic adenoma or cancer who underwent screening colonoscopy or surgery were prospectively enrolled. Polypoid lesion tissue samples were collected and frozen. Real-time reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction for IFNγ, TWEAK, and VEGF-A mRNA expression was performed. Immunoassays for VEGF-A, VEGF-C, VEGFR-1, VEGFR-2, and VEGFR-3 were also performed. Nonparametric statistics, receiver operating characteristic curve analysis, and logistic multiple regression analysis were used.

RESULTS: IFNγ and TWEAK mRNA expression was higher in patients with T2 or more advanced colorectal cancer than in those with adenomas or T1 cancer (p < 0.001 and p = 0.01, respectively). IFNγ and TWEAK mRNA expression levels directly correlated with VEGF-A mRNA expression levels (rho = 0.44, p < 0.001 and rho = 0.29, p = 0.004, respectively). On the contrary, IFNγ and TWEAK mRNA expression levels inversely correlated with VEGF-C protein levels (rho = -0.29, p = 0.04 and rho = -0.31, p = 0.03, respectively). Similarly, IFNγ and TWEAK mRNA expression levels inversely correlated with VEGFR2 protein levels (rho = -0.38, p = 0.033 and rho = -0.40, p = 0.025, respectively).

CONCLUSION: This study showed that in colorectal polypoid lesions, IFNγ and TWEAK expressions are directly correlated to VEGF-A expression but inversely correlated with VEGFR2 levels, suggesting a possible feedback mechanism in the regulation of VEGF-A expression.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)186-195
Number of pages10
JournalEuropean Surgical Research
Volume60
Issue number5-6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2019

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