Induction of TNF-α, uPA, IL-8 and MCP-1 by doxorubicin in human lung carcinoma cells

Masami Niiya, Kenji Niiya, Toru Kiguchi, Misako Shibakura, Noboru Asaumi, Katsuji Shinagawa, Fumihiko Ishimaru, Katsuyuki Kiura, Kazuma Ikeda, Hiroshi Ueoka, Mitsune Tanimoto

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

51 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: We have previously demonstrated doxorubicin-induced urokinase (uPA) and interleukin-8 (IL-8) expression in human H69 small-cell lung carcinoma (SCLC) cells by a microarray technique using Human Cancer Chip version 2, in which 425 human "cancer-related" genes are spotted on the plates. The microarray analysis also revealed a significant induction of tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-α), and doxorubicin-induced macrophage chemoattractant protein-1 (MCP-1) expression was demonstrated by an RNase protection assay. We extended the study by testing the effects of doxorubicin on the induction of TNF-α, uPA, IL-8 and MCP-1 in other types of lung carcinoma cells. Methods: We investigated the effects of doxorubicin on the expression of TNF-α, uPA, IL-8 and MCP-1 in 12 human lung carcinoma cell lines, including five SCLC, three adenocarcinoma and four squamous cell carcinoma cells. The surface expression of their receptors was also investigated. Results: TNF-α was significantly induced in three cell lines, H69, SBC-7 (SCLC) and PC-9 (adenocarcinoma), uPA in five cell lines, H69, SBC-7, EBC-1 (squamous cell), EBC-2 (squamous cell), and Sq-1 (squamous cell), IL-8 in three cell lines, H69, PC-9 and EBC-1, and MCP-1 in five cell lines, H69, SBC-3 (SCLC), SBC-7, PC-9 and Sq-1. In H69 cells, TNF-α antigen levels were increased approximately fivefold in the conditioned medium of doxorubicin-treated cells, in parallel with an increase in mRNA levels. As with uPA and IL-8, the maximum induction was observed at the "sublethal" concentrations of 2 and 4 μM at which cell growth was slightly inhibited 24 h after treatment. Furthermore, the cells did not express receptors including types I and II TNF-α receptors, uPA receptor (uPAR), C-x-C-chemokine receptor-1 (CXCR-1), or C-C-chemokine receptor-2, corresponding to TNF-α, uPA, IL-8 and MCP-1, respectively, that were induced by doxorubicin in the cells, although SBC-7 cells expressed uPAR, and EBC-1 cells expressed CXCR-1. Conclusions: TNF-α, uPA, IL-8 and MCP-1 induced and secreted from tumor cells upon doxorubicin stimulation may activate surrounding cells expressing the receptors such as neutrophils and monocytes/macrophages in a paracrine fashion. TNF-α is a major proinflammatory cytokine, and IL-8 and MCP-1 are major chemoattractants for neutrophils and monocytes/macrophages, respectively. Furthermore, uPA activates matrix metalloproteinase 9 which can truncate and activate IL-8. Thus, the simultaneous induction of TNF-α, uPA, IL-8 and MCP-1 may enhance the interaction between tumor and inflammatory/immune cells, and augment cytotoxicity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)391-398
Number of pages8
JournalCancer Chemotherapy and Pharmacology
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2003


  • Doxorubicin
  • Gene expression
  • IL-8
  • Lung cancer
  • MCP-1
  • Tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α)
  • uPA

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Toxicology
  • Pharmacology
  • Cancer Research
  • Pharmacology (medical)


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