Up-regulation of the pro-inflammatory chemokine CXCL16 is a common response of tumor cells to ionizing radiation

Radiat Res. 2010 Apr;173(4):418-25. doi: 10.1667/RR1860.1.


We recently showed that mouse and human breast carcinoma cells respond to ionizing radiation therapy by up-regulating the expression and release of the pro-inflammatory chemokine CXCL16, which binds to the CXCR6 receptor expressed by activated T cells. Enhanced recruitment of activated T cells to irradiated mouse 4T1 breast tumors was mediated largely by CXCL16 and was correlated with tumor inhibition in mice treated with the combination of local radiation and immunotherapy. In this study, the expression of CXCL16 and its modulation by radiation were analyzed in mouse melanoma B16/F10, fibrosarcoma MC57, colon carcinoma MCA38, and prostate carcinoma TRAMP-C1 cells. Only TRAMP-C1 cells showed detectable expression of CXCL16, although the level was lower than in 4T1 and 67NR breast carcinoma cells. Ionizing radiation up-regulated CXCL16 expression in all cells except B16/F10, but only TRAMP-C1, 67NR and 4T1 cells released the soluble chemokine in significant quantities. The metalloproteinases ADAM10 and ADAM17, which are responsible for cleaving the chemokine domain from the CXCL16 transmembrane form, were expressed in all cells. Overall, our data indicate that up-regulation of CXCL16 is a common response of tumor cells to radiation, and they have important implications for the use of local radiotherapy in combination with immunotherapy.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Breast Neoplasms / metabolism*
  • Breast Neoplasms / radiotherapy*
  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • Chemokine CXCL16
  • Chemokines, CXC / metabolism*
  • Colonic Neoplasms / metabolism
  • Colonic Neoplasms / radiotherapy
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Radiation
  • Female
  • Fibrosarcoma / metabolism
  • Fibrosarcoma / radiotherapy
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Neoplastic / radiation effects*
  • Male
  • Melanoma / metabolism
  • Melanoma / radiotherapy
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred BALB C
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / metabolism
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / radiotherapy
  • Radiation Dosage
  • Receptors, Scavenger / metabolism*
  • Skin Neoplasms / metabolism
  • Skin Neoplasms / radiotherapy
  • Up-Regulation / radiation effects


  • CXCL16 protein, human
  • Chemokine CXCL16
  • Chemokines, CXC
  • Receptors, Scavenger