Mitogenic action of tumor necrosis factor in human fibroblasts: interaction with epidermal growth factor and platelet-derived growth factor.J Cell Physiol. 1988 Apr; 135(1):23-31.JC
We have previously shown that tumor necrosis factor (TNF) can increase the number of epidermal growth factor (EGF) receptors on human FS-4 fibroblasts and that this increase may be related to the mitogenic action of TNF in these cells. Here we show that TNF stimulated the growth of FS-4 fibroblasts in a chemically defined, serum-free medium in the absence of EGF. Anti-EGF receptor antibody, which blocked the mitogenic effects of EGF in FS-4 cells, did not inhibit the mitogenic action of TNF in serum-free or serum-containing medium, indicating that EGF or an EGF-like molecule was not responsible for the mitogenic effects of TNF. However, the simultaneous addition of TNF and EGF to cells grown in serum-free medium resulted in a synergistic stimulation of DNA synthesis and cell growth. The actions of TNF and EGF were also examined in growth-arrested FS-4 cells and were compared with the action of platelet-derived growth factor (PDGF). In the absence of other growth factors, TNF was a relatively weak mitogen in growth-arrested cells, compared with EGF or PDGF. Nevertheless, TNF synergized with EGF or high doses of PDGF in stimulating DNA synthesis. Furthermore, antibodies specific for TNF or the EGF receptor were used to selectively inhibit the actions of these two factors, after specific incubation periods, in growth-arrested cells treated concurrently with EGF and TNF. To produce an optimal stimulation of DNA synthesis, EGF had to be present for a longer period of time than TNF. We conclude that in their synergistic action on growth-arrested FS-4 cells, EGF was responsible for driving the majority of the cells into S phase, while TNF appeared to make the cells more responsive to the mitogenic action of EGF. The findings indicate that TNF can cooperate with, and enhance the actions of, EGF in promoting DNA synthesis and cell division.