Expression of CCR5 receptors on Reed–Sternberg cells and Hodgkin lymphoma cell lines: Involvement of CCL5/Rantes in tumor cell growth and microenvironmental interactions

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The expression of CCL5/Rantes by Hodgkin (H) and Reed-Sternberg (RS) cells has been recently documented. In the present study we demonstrated that the CCL5 receptor (CCR5) is constitutively expressed by Hodgkin Lymphoma (HL)-derived cell lines (i.e. L-428, KM-H2, L-1236 and L-540) as shown by immunohistochemistry, flow cytometry and western blotting and also detected by immunohistochemistry on primary H-RS cells from lymph node tissues. sCD40L never significantly affected CCR5 expression, whereas a short exposure to doxorubicin down regulated its expression. CCR5 receptors on HL cell lines were functionally active, since neutralizing anti-CCL5 monoclonal antibodies inhibited basal proliferation of HL-derived cell lines and recombinant CCR5 ligands (CCL3/Mip-1α, CCL4/Mip1β and CCL5/Rantes) increased their clonogenic growth. CCL5 secretion by L-1236, L-428 and KM-H2 cells was stimulated by CD40 engagement and also by coculturing L-1236 cells on primary stromal fibroblasts from HL-involved lymph nodes (HLF). Coculture experiments indicated that a direct contact of H-RS cells induces HLF cells to produce CCL5. Supernatants from L-1236, L-428 and KM-H2 cells stimulated migration of purified CD4+ T-cells and eosinophilsin vitro. The migratory response to HL-cell lines supernatants was only partially neutralized (CD4+ cells: 70%; esinophils: 36%) by anti-CCL5 antibodies, reinforcing the notion that multiple chemokines are involved in the recruitment of nonmalignant reactive cells in HL tissues. Taken together, our results indicate a possible involvement of the CCR5/CCR5-ligands signaling in the regulation of H-RS cells growth and in the formation/maintenance of the typical tissue microenvironment of HL.

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