Interleukin 1 is an autocrine regulator of human endothelial cell growth

Federico Cozzolino, Maria Torcia, Donatella Aldinucci, Marina Ziche, Fabio Almerigogna, Daniele Bani, David M. Stern

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Proliferation of endothelial cells is regulated through the autocrine production of growth factors and the expression of cognate surface receptors. In this study, we demonstrate that interleukin 1 (IL-1) is an inhibitor of endothelial growth in vitro and in vivo. IL-1 arrested growing, cultured endothelial cells in G1 phase; inhibition of proliferation was dose dependent and occurred in parallel with occupancy of endothelial surface IL-1 receptors. In an angiogenesis model, IL-1 could inhibit fibroblast growth factor-induced vessel formation. The autocrine nature of the IL-1 effect on endothelial proliferation was demonstrated by the observation that occupancy of cell-surface receptors by endogenous IL-1 depressed cell growth. The potential significance of this finding was emphasized by the detection of IL-1 in the native endothelium of human umbilical veins. A mechanism by which IL-1 may exert its inhibitory effect on endothelial cell growth was suggested by studies showing that IL-1 decreased the expression of high-affinity fibroblast growth factor binding sites on endothelium. These results point to a potentially important role of IL-1 in regulating blood vessel growth and suggest that autocrine production of inhibitory factors may be a mechanism controlling proliferation of normal cells.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)6487-6491
Number of pages5
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number17
Publication statusPublished - Sep 1990


  • Cell proliferation
  • Cytokines
  • Endothelium

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics
  • General


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