Thang PH, Ruffin N, Brodin D, Rethi B, Cam PD, Hien NT, Lopalco L, Vivar N, Chiodi F
J. Intern. Med. 268 (2) 181-193 [2010-08-00; online 2010-05-26]
Interleukin (IL)-7 is a key cytokine in T-cell homeostasis. Stromal cells, intestinal epithelial cells and keratinocytes are known to produce this cytokine. The mechanisms and cellular factors regulating IL-7 production are still unclear. We assessed whether IL-1beta and interferon (IFN)-gamma, cytokines produced during inflammatory conditions, may impact on IL-7 production. We used human intestinal epithelial cells (DLD-1 cell line) and bone marrow stromal cells (HS27 cell line), known to produce IL-7; IL-7 production was evaluated at the mRNA and protein levels. To assess whether treatment of HS27 cells with IL-1beta and/or IFN-gamma leads to changes in the gene expression of cytokines, Toll-like receptors (TLRs) and chemokines, we analysed gene expression profiles using the whole-genome microarray Human Gene 1.0 ST. We found that IFN-gamma enhanced the expression of IL-7 mRNA (P < 0.001) in both cell lines. IL-1beta treatment led to a significant down-regulation (P < 0.001) of IL-7 mRNA expression in both cell lines. The IL-7 concentration in supernatants collected from treated DLD-1 and HS27 cell cultures reflected the trend of IL-7 mRNA levels. The gene profiles revealed dramatic changes in expression of cytokines and their receptors (IL-7/IL-7R alpha; IL-1alpha,IL-1beta/IL-1R1; IFN-gamma/IFN-gammaR1), of IFN regulatory factors (IRF-1 and 2), of TLRs and of important chemo-attractants for T cells. The microarray results were verified by additional methods. Our results are discussed in the setting of inflammation and T-cell survival in the gut compartment during HIV-1 infection where stromal and epithelial cells may produce factors that contribute to impaired IL-7 homeostasis and homing of T cells.