LIGHT (tumor necrosis factor superfamily 14) is among the powerful apoptosis-inducing cytokines synthesized in human placentas. Here, we investigated mechanisms protecting cytotrophoblast (CTB) cells from LIGHT-mediated apoptosis. Viability assays and caspase-3 immunoblots using recombinant LIGHT were done to establish that CTB cells purified from term placentas resist LIGHT-induced apoptosis. Although the cells were also resistant to killing by another placental cytokine, interferon-γ (IFN-γ), a combination of the two induced apoptosis. Killing was prevented by DcR3-Fc fragment but not control human-Fc fragment, showing that apoptosis occurs via the LIGHT pathway and that soluble receptors provide protection. Next, two cellular inhibitors of apoptosis expressed in CTB cells, cellular inhibitor of apoptosis (cIAP)-1 and cIAP-2, were investigated for protection. Cellular IAP-1 was unchanged after stimulation with LIGHT whereas cIAP-2 mRNA and protein were elevated. The increase was abrogated by treating CTB cells with LIGHT + IFN-γ, implying a central role for cIAP-2 in preventing LIGHT-mediated apoptosis and an ability of IFN-γ to overcome cIAP-2 protection. Definitive evidence was provided in experiments that showed that cIAP-2 anti-sense morpholinos permit LIGHT to induce apoptosis in HT-29 cells. In summary, the data are consistent with the postulate that placental CTB cells are protected from LIGHT-mediated apoptosis by both soluble receptor, DcR3, and cIAP-2.
Gill, R. M., & Hunt, J. S. (2004). Soluble receptor (DcR3) and cellular inhibitor of apoptosis-2 (cIAP-2) protect human cytotrophoblast cells against LIGHT-mediated apoptosis. American Journal of Pathology, 165(1), 309–317. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0002-9440(10)63298-1