Biophysical Properties and Motility of Human Mature Dendritic Cells Deteriorated by Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor through Cytoskeleton Remodeling
Arsenic remains an important environmental hazard that causes several human cancers. Arsenic-induced Bowen's disease (As-BD), a skin carcinoma in situ, is the most common arsenical cancer. While great strides have been made in our understanding of arsenic carcinogenesis, how host immunity contributes to this process remains unknown. Patients with As-BD have an impaired contact hypersensitivity response. Although impaired T cell activation has been well-documented in arsenical cancers, how dendritic cell (DC), the key cell regulating innate immunity, regulates the immune response in arsenical cancers remains unclear. Using myeloid derived DC (MDDC) from patients with As-BD and normal controls as well as bone marrow derived DC (BMDC) from mice fed with or without arsenic, we measured the migration of DC. As-BD patients showed an impaired CCL21-mediated MDDC migration in vitro. Arsenic-fed mice had defective DC migration toward popliteal lymph nodes when injected with allogenic BMDCs via foot pad. Using skin from As-BD and normal controls, we found an increased expression of STAT3, a transcriptional factor contributing to impaired DC activation. Arsenic induced STAT3 activation and the production of VEGF in keratinocytes. The increase in VEGF was blocked by inhibiting STAT3 with RNA interference or pharmaceutically with JSI-124. While VEGF by itself minimally induced the expression of CD86 and MHC-II in MDDC, arsenic induced-MDDC activation was abolished by VEGF pretreatment. We concluded that the STAT3-VEGF axis in keratinocytes inhibits DC migration in the microenvironment of As-BD, indicating that cellular interactions play an important role in regulating the disease course of arsenical cancers.