We studied cytokine-related functional properties of four mouse endotheliomas from different anatomical sites obtained by transformation with middle T oncogene. We examined mRNA expression of IL-6, IL-1 alpha, macrophage-CSF, granulocyte/macrophage-CSF, and two members of an emerging super-family of chemotactic cytokines (JE/monocyte chemoattractant protein-1 (MCP-1) and KC). Exposure to IL-1 augmented or induced cytokine gene transcripts in three endothelioma lines (eEnd.1, sEnd.1, and tEnd) with maximal expression in tEnd.1 cells. Endothelioma cells also responded to TNF-alpha and LPS. Levels of IL-6 and monocyte chemotactic activity (a JE/MCP activity) correlated with mRNA expression. IL-1 also induced production of procoagulant activity and platelet-activating factor in endothelioma cells, with heterogeneity in the levels of response among individuals lines. Murine melanoma B16-F1, human colon carcinoma HT29 cells, CB33MT lymphoblastoid cells, and monocytes adhered to endothelioma monolayers and the adhesive properties of these cell lines were modulated by IL-1 beta, with marked differences among themselves. Murine EC derived from brain capillaries, used as control, shared several properties with bEnd.4 line. Endothelioma lines cause tumors by recruiting host cells. The capacity to produce cytokines that directly or indirectly attract host vascular cells, may play an important role in hemangioma induction in vivo. Murine endothelioma lines, generated by transformation with the polyoma middle T oncogene, retain functional properties of normal endothelium, and may represent an invaluable tool for analysis of the immunobiology and heterogeneity of EC in different tissues.

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