Synergistic Interactions Between Interferon-{Gamma} And Trail Modulate C-Flip In Endothelial Cells, Mediating Their Lineage-Specific Sensitivity To Thrombotic Thrombocytopenic Purpura Plasma¿Associated Apoptosis

Stefanescu, R., etc.
Blood, 2008

Microvascular endothelial cell (MVEC) injury coupled to progression of platelet microthrombi facilitated by ADAMTS13 deficiency is characteristic of idiopathic and HIV-linked thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura (TTP). Cytokines capable of inducing MVEC apoptosis in vitro are up-regulated in both TTP and HIV infection. However, the concentrations of these cytokines required to elicit EC apoptosis in vitro are 2- to 3-log–fold greater than present in patient plasmas. We report that clinically relevant levels of tumor necrosis factor–related apoptosis-inducing ligand (TRAIL) and interferon (IFN)–¿ act in synergy to induce apoptosis in dermal MVECs, but have no effect on large-vessel ECs or pulmonary MVECs. This reflects the tissue distribution of TTP lesions in vivo. Sensitivity to TTP plasma or TRAIL plus IFN-¿ is paralleled by enhanced ubiquitination of the caspase-8 regulator cellular FLICE-like inhibitory protein (c-FLIP), targeting it for proteasome degradation. c-FLIP silencing with anti-FLIP short interfering RNA (siRNA) in pulmonary MVECs rendered them susceptible to TTP plasma– and cytokine-mediated apoptosis, while up-regulation of c-FLIP by gene transfer partially protected dermal MVECs from such injury. TTP plasma–mediated apoptosis appears to involve cytokine-induced acceleration of c-FLIP degradation, sensitizing cells to TRAIL-mediated caspase-8 activation and cell death. Suppression of TRAIL or modulation of immunoproteasome activity may have therapeutic relevance in TTP.

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Weill Medical College¿Cornell University