Cellular characteristics of neuroblastoma cells: regulation by the ELR-CXC chemokine CXCL10 and expression of a CXCR3-like receptor


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Abstract

Bone marrow stroma cells secrete the chemokine CXCL12 that may support bone marrow metastasis formation by neuroblastoma cells. The present study demonstrates that bone marrow stroma cell lines also secrete CXCL10, a chemokine that was shown in the past to have anti-malignancy functions. A receptor recognized by antibodies against CXCR3 was shown to be expressed by six neuroblastoma cell lines. Further detailed analysis was performed on the NUB6 and SK-NMC neuroblastoma cells, showing that CXCL10 induced potent Erk phosphorylation in a Gαi-dependent manner. The role of a CXCR3-like receptor in Erk phosphorylation was substantiated by the ability of CXCL11, another potent CXCR3 ligand, to induce Erk phosphorylation in the NUB6 and SK-NMC cells. Further characterization of CXCL10 activities indicated that CXCL10 partly inhibited the growth of the NUB6 and SK-NMC cells. Both NUB6 and SK-NMC cells did not migrate to CXCL10, although their migratory machinery was intact, as evidenced by their migration to bone marrow constituents. Altogether, these results suggest that CXCL10 interacts with a CXCR3-like receptor in neuroblastoma cell lines, raising the possibility that following the homing of the tumor cells to the bone marrow (through a CXCL10-independent mechanism), CXCL10 may partly inhibit neuroblastoma cell growth at this site.

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