Vascular endothelial growth factor-A enhances indoleamine 2,3-dioxygenase expression by dendritic cells and subsequently impacts lymphocyte proliferation

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2014-02-01
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Marti, Luciana Cavalheiro
Pavon, Lorena
Severino, Patricia
Sibov, Tatiana
Guilhen, Daiane
Moreira-Filho, Carlos Alberto
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Dendritic cells (DCs) are antigen (Ag)-presenting cells that activate and stimulate effective immune responses by T cells, but can also act as negative regulators of these responses and thus play important roles in immune regulation. Pro-angiogenic vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) has been shown to cause defective DC differentiation and maturation. Previous studies have demonstrated that the addition of VEGF to DC cultures renders these cells weak stimulators of Ag-specific T cells due to the inhibitory effects mediated by VEGF receptor 1 (VEGFR1) and/or VEGFR2 signalling. As the enzyme indoleamine 2,3-dioxygenase (IDO) is recognised as an important negative regulator of immune responses, this study aimed to investigate whether VEGF affects the expression of IDO by DCs and whether VEGF-matured DCs acquire a suppressor phenotype. Our results are the first to demonstrate that VEGF increases the expression and activity of IDO in DCs, which has a suppressive effect on Ag-specific and mitogen-stimulated lymphocyte proliferation. These mechanisms have broad implications for the study of immunological responses and tolerance under conditions as diverse as cancer, graft rejection and autoimmunity.
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Memorias Do Instituto Oswaldo Cruz. Rio de Janeiro, Rj: Fundaco Oswaldo Cruz, v. 109, n. 1, p. 70-79, 2014.