Weishaupt, Steinert, Brunner, Schulze, Fuhlbrigge, Goerge, Loser (2019) Activation of human vascular endothelium in melanoma metastases induces ICAM-1 and E-selectin expression and results in increased infiltration with effector lymphocytes Experimental dermatology 28(11) 1258-1269


Lymphocytic infiltration into melanoma tissue is an important prerequisite for effective antitumoral immunity. However, analysis of human metastatic melanoma has shown that leucocyte adhesion receptor expression on melanoma blood vessels is very low or absent, thereby impairing the entry of cytotoxic lymphocytes into tumor tissue. We hypothesized that adhesion molecules can be induced on melanoma vasculature allowing better infiltration of cytotoxic lymphocytes. Quantitative real-time PCR and immunofluorescence staining indicated that the adhesion molecules ICAM-1 (CD54) and E-selectin (CD62E) can be significantly induced by intralesional application of TNF alpha in tissue from human melanoma metastases either in vitro or in vivo when grafted onto immunodeficient NSG (NOD.Cg-PrkdcscidIl2rgtm1Wjl/SzJ) mice that preserved human vessels. Furthermore, activated human autologous CD3+ lymphocytes were injected intravenously into mice bearing melanoma xenografts treated with TNF-α or PBS in addition to the leucocyte chemoattractant TARC (CCL17). Significantly increased numbers of CD8+ cells were detected in TNF-α-treated melanoma metastases compared with PBS-treated controls. In addition, tumor cell apoptosis was enhanced and melanoma cell proliferation reduced as shown by TUNEL assay and KI-67 staining. We conclude that adhesion molecules can be induced on human melanoma vasculature resulting in significantly improved homing of activated autologous cytotoxic T cells to melanoma tissue and inhibition of melanoma cell proliferation. These observations should be considered when designing protocols for immunotherapy of malignant melanoma. © 2019 The Authors. Experimental Dermatology published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.