The membrane-bound but not the soluble form of human Fas ligand is responsible for its inflammatory activity

Eur J Immunol. 2001 Aug;31(8):2504-11. doi: 10.1002/1521-4141(200108)31:8<2504::aid-immu2504>;2-c.


The ectopic expression of Fas ligand (FasL/CD95L) in tissues or tumors induces neutrophil infiltration and the destruction of the tissues or the rejection of tumors. It has been suggested that the infiltrated neutrophils are responsible for the latter phenomena. FasL is synthesized as a type II transmembrane protein, and soluble FasL is produced by a proteolytic mechanism from the membrane-bound form. We previously demonstrated that uncleavable membrane-bound FasL of mice induces IL-1 beta release from inflammatory cells, and suggested that the IL-1 beta enhances neutrophil infiltration. However, recent papers reported that human soluble FasL is directly chemoattractive to neutrophils in vitro and proposed that the soluble form of FasL is responsible for its inflammatory activity. Therefore, in this report, we investigated which form is responsible for the inflammatory activities of human FasL. We produced tumor cell lines expressing one or both forms of human FasL. Cells expressing both forms or only the membrane-bound form of FasL induced neutrophil infiltration when transplanted into the peritoneal cavity of syngeneic mice, while cells expressing only the soluble form did not. Purified soluble FasL failed to induce neutrophil infiltration in vivo. IL-1 beta release from inflammatory peritoneal exudate and acceleration of tumor rejection were also mediated by membrane-bound but not soluble FasL. These results indicate that the membrane-bound form of FasL is primarily responsible for its inflammatory activity.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Membrane / metabolism*
  • Fas Ligand Protein
  • Female
  • Flow Cytometry
  • Humans
  • Inflammation / immunology*
  • Inflammation / metabolism
  • Inflammation / pathology
  • Interleukin-1 / metabolism
  • Membrane Glycoproteins / chemistry
  • Membrane Glycoproteins / immunology*
  • Membrane Glycoproteins / metabolism*
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Mice, Inbred Strains
  • Neoplasm Transplantation
  • Neoplasms, Experimental / immunology
  • Neutrophil Infiltration
  • Peritoneum / immunology
  • Peritoneum / metabolism
  • Peritoneum / pathology
  • Solubility
  • Tumor Cells, Cultured


  • FASLG protein, human
  • Fas Ligand Protein
  • Fasl protein, mouse
  • Interleukin-1
  • Membrane Glycoproteins