CXCL10 can inhibit endothelial cell proliferation independently of CXCR3

PLoS One. 2010 Sep 13;5(9):e12700. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0012700.


CXCL10 (or Interferon-inducible protein of 10 kDa, IP-10) is an interferon-inducible chemokine with potent chemotactic activity on activated effector T cells and other leukocytes expressing its high affinity G protein-coupled receptor CXCR3. CXCL10 is also active on other cell types, including endothelial cells and fibroblasts. The mechanisms through which CXCL10 mediates its effects on non-leukocytes is not fully understood. In this study, we focus on the anti-proliferative effect of CXCL10 on endothelial cells, and demonstrate that CXCL10 can inhibit endothelial cell proliferation in vitro independently of CXCR3. Four main findings support this conclusion. First, primary mouse endothelial cells isolated from CXCR3-deficient mice were inhibited by CXCL10 as efficiently as wildtype endothelial cells. We also note that the proposed alternative splice form CXCR3-B, which is thought to mediate CXCL10's angiostatic activity, does not exist in mice based on published mouse CXCR3 genomic sequences as an in-frame stop codon would terminate the proposed CXCR3-B splice variant in mice. Second, we demonstrate that human umbilical vein endothelial cells and human lung microvascular endothelial cells that were inhibited by CXL10 did not express CXCR3 by FACS analysis. Third, two different neutralizing CXCR3 antibodies did not inhibit the anti-proliferative effect of CXCL10. Finally, fourth, utilizing a panel of CXCL10 mutants, we show that the ability to inhibit endothelial cell proliferation correlates with CXCL10's glycosaminoglycan binding affinity and not with its CXCR3 binding and signaling. Thus, using a very defined system, we show that CXCL10 can inhibit endothelial cell proliferation through a CXCR3-independent mechanism.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Base Sequence
  • Cell Proliferation*
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Chemokine CXCL10 / genetics
  • Chemokine CXCL10 / metabolism*
  • Down-Regulation*
  • Endothelial Cells / cytology*
  • Endothelial Cells / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Mice, Knockout
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • RNA Splicing
  • Receptors, CXCR3 / genetics
  • Receptors, CXCR3 / metabolism*


  • Chemokine CXCL10
  • Receptors, CXCR3