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The CXCL2/IL8/CXCR2 Pathway Is Relevant For Brain Tumor Malignancy And Endothelial Cell Function

Ruth Urbantat, Anne Blank, Irina Kremenetskaia, Peter Vajkoczy, Güliz Acker, Susan Brandenburg

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We aimed to evaluate the angiogenic capacity of CXCL2 and IL8 affecting human endothelial cells to clarify their potential role in glioblastoma (GBM) angiogenesis. Human GBM samples and controls were stained for proangiogenic factors. Survival curves and molecule correlations were obtained from the TCGA (The Cancer Genome Atlas) database. Moreover, proliferative, migratory and angiogenic activity of peripheral (HUVEC) and brain specific (HBMEC) primary human endothelial cells were investigated including blockage of CXCR2 signaling with SB225502. Gene expression analyses of angiogenic molecules from endothelial cells were performed. Overexpression of VEGF and CXCL2 was observed in GBM patients and associated with a survival disadvantage. Molecules of the VEGF pathway correlated but no relation for CXCR1/2 and CXCL2/IL8 was found. Interestingly, receptors of endothelial cells were not induced by addition of proangiogenic factors in vitro. Proliferation and migration of HUVEC were increased by VEGF, CXCL2 as well as IL8. Their sprouting was enhanced through VEGF and CXCL2, while IL8 showed no effect. In contrast, brain endothelial cells reacted to all proangiogenic molecules. Additionally, treatment with a CXCR2 antagonist led to reduced chemokinesis and sprouting of endothelial cells. We demonstrate the impact of CXCR2 signaling on endothelial cells supporting an impact of this pathway in angiogenesis of glioblastoma.