Treatment of human umbilical cord vein endothelial cells with tumor necrosis factor results in marked changes in cell shape and cytoskeletal organization. After 4 h of treatment, these cells loose reciprocal contacts with the formation of intercellular gaps. This retraction reaches a maximum after 6 h when most stress fibers staining for F-actin disappear and vinculin becomes diffused in the cytoplasm. Such changes spontaneously reverse after 24 h in the presence of tumor necrosis factor or after 2 h of incubation in fresh medium. After treatment with tumor necrosis factor, endothelial monolayers become permeable to albumin because of gaps that form between cells. Normal human serum, plasma ±-proteinase inhibitor and an anti-inflammatory peptide that decrease synthesis of platelet-activating factor inhibit the changes induced by tumor necrosis factor. Furthermore, receptor antagonists of platelet-activating factor have the same effect.These findings suggest that platelet-activating factor is a secondary mediator responsible for the changes in ceil shapeand cytoskeletal organization, and for the leakiness of endothelial monolayers.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Immunology and Allergy