, Volume 50, Issue 1, pp 145-154,
Open Access This content is freely available online to anyone, anywhere at any time.

Analysis of chemokine and chemokine receptor expression in squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck (SCCHN) cell lines

Abstract

The purpose of this work was to analyze chemokine and chemokine receptor expression in untreated and in irradiated squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck (SCCHN) tumor cell lines, aiming at the establishment of assays to test for the relevance of chemokine and chemokine receptor expression in the response of SCCHN to radiotherapy and radiochemotherapy. Five low passage and 10 established SCCHN lines, as well as two normal cell lines, were irradiated at 2 Gy or sham-irradiated, and harvested between 1 and 48 h after treatment. For chemokines with CC and CXC structural motifs and their receptors, transcript levels of target and reference genes were quantified relatively by real-time PCR. In addition, CXCL1 and CXCL12 protein expression was analyzed by ELISA. A substantial variation in chemokine and chemokine receptor expression between SCCHN was detected. Practically, all cell lines expressed CCL5 and CCL20, while CCL2 was expressed in normal cells and in some of the tumor cell lines. CXCL1, CXCL2, CXCL3, CXCL10, and CXCL11 were expressed in the vast majority of the cell lines, while the expression of CXCL9 and CXCL12 was restricted to fibroblasts and few tumor cell lines. None of the analyzed cell lines expressed the chemokines CCL3, CCL4, or CCL19. Of the receptors, transcript expression of CCR1, CCR2, CCR3, CCR5, CCR7, CCXR2, and CCXR3 was not detected, and CCR6, CXCR1, and CXCR4 expression was restricted to few tumor cells. Radiation caused up- and down-regulation with respect to chemokine expressions, while for chemokine receptor expressions down-regulations were prevailing. CXCL1 and CXCL12 protein expression corresponded well with the mRNA expression. We conclude that the substantial variation in chemokine and chemokine receptor expression between SCCHN offer opportunities for the establishment of assays to test for the relevance of chemokine and chemokine receptor expression in the response of SCCHN to radiotherapy and radiochemotherapy.

H. A. Wolff and D. Rolke share the first authorship equally.
R. M. W. Rödel and H. Christiansen share the last authorship equally.