In this study, we examined the biological action of IL-17 on human non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). Although IL-17 had no direct effect on the in vitro growth rate of NSCLC, IL-17 selectively augmented the secretion of an array of angiogenic CXC chemokines, including CXCL1, CXCL5, CXCL6, and CXCL8 but not angiostatic chemokines, by three different NSCLC lines. Endothelial cell chemotactic activity (as a measure of net angiogenic potential) was increased in response to conditioned medium from NSCLC stimulated with IL-17 compared with those from unstimulated NSCLC. Enhanced chemotactic activity was suppressed by nentralizing mAb(s) to CXCL1, CXCL5, and CXCL8 or to CXCR-2 but not to vascular endothelial growth factor-A. Transfection with IL-17 into NSCLC had no effect on the in vitro growth, whereas IL-17 transfectants grew more rapidly compared with controls when transplanted in SCID mice. This IL-17-elicited enhancement of NSCLC growth was associated with increased tumor vascularity. Moreover, treatment with anti-mouse CXCR-2-nentralizing Ab significantly attenuated the growth of both neomycin phosphotransferase gene-transfected and EL-17-transfected NSCLC tumors in SCID mice. A potential role for IL-17 in modulation of the human NSCLC phenotype was supported by the findings that, in primary NSCLC tissues, IL-17 expression was frequently detected in accumulating and infiltrating iniammatory cells and that high levels of IL-17 expression were associated with increased tumor vascularity. These results demonstrate that IL-17 increases the net angiogenic activity and in vivo growth of NSCLC via promoting CXCR-2-dependent angiogenesis and suggest that targeting CXCR-2 signaling may be a novel promising strategy to treat patients with NSCLC.
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