Tumor-associated macrophages (TAMs) and myeloid-derived suppressor cells (MDSCs) inhibit anti-tumor immune responses and facilitate tumor growth. Precursors for these immune cell populations migrate to the tumor site in response to tumor secretion of chemokines, such as monocyte chemoattractant protein-1 (MCP-1/CCL2), which was originally purified and identified from human gliomas. In syngeneic mouse GL261 glioma and human U87 glioma xenograft models, we evaluated the efficacy of systemic CCL2 blockade by monoclonal antibodies (mAb) targeting mouse and/or human CCL2. Intraperitoneal (i.p.) administration of anti-mouse CCL2 mAb as monotherapy (2 mg/kg/dose, twice a week) significantly, albeit modestly, prolonged the survival of C57BL/6 mice bearing intracranial GL261 glioma (p=0.0033), which was concomitant with a decrease in TAMs and MDSCs in the tumor microenvironment. Similarly, survival was modestly prolonged in severe combined immunodeficiency (SCID) mice bearing intracranial human U87 glioma xenografts treated with both anti-human CCL2 mAb and anti-mouse CCL2 antibodies (2 mg/kg/dose for each, twice a week) compared to mice treated with control IgG (p=0.0159). Furthermore, i.p. administration of anti-mouse CCL2 antibody in combination with temozolomide (TMZ) significantly prolonged the survival of C57BL/6 mice bearing GL261 glioma with 8 of 10 treated mice surviving longer than 70 days, while only 3 of 10 mice treated with TMZ and isotype IgG survived longer than 70 days (p=0.0359). These observations provide support for development of mAb-based CCL2 blockade strategies in combination with the current standard TMZ-based chemotherapy for treatment of malignant gliomas.
glioma; chemokine; CCL2; monoclonal antibody; chemotherapy; temozolomide
The C-C chemokine ligand 2 (CCL2) stimulates migration, proliferation, and invasion of prostate cancer (PCa) cells, and its signaling also plays a role in the activation of osteoclasts. Therefore targeting CCL2 signaling in regulation of tumor progression in bone metastases is an area of intense research. The objective of our study was to investigate the efficacy of CCL2 blockade by neutralizing antibodies to inhibit the growth of PCa in bone. We used a preclinical model of cancer growth in the bone in which PCa C4-2B cells were injected directly into murine tibiae. Animals were treated for ten weeks with neutralizing anti-CCL2 antibodies, docetaxel, or a combination of both, and then followed an additional nine weeks. CCL2 blockade inhibited the growth of PCa in bone, with even more pronounced inhibition in combination with docetaxel. CCL2 blockade also resulted in increases in bone mineral density. Furthermore, our results showed that the tumor inhibition lasted even after discontinuation of the treatment. Our data provide compelling evidence that CCL2 blockade slows PCa growth in bone, both alone and in combination with docetaxel. These results support the continued investigations of CCL2 blockade as a treatment for advanced metastatic PCa.
prostate cancer; bone metastases; chemokine; CCL2; docetaxel; bone metastases
Since an immuno-inhibitory environment exists within tumors, successful vaccines will likely require additional approaches to alter the tumor microenvironment. Monocyte chemoattractant proteins (such as CCL2) are produced by many tumors and have both direct and indirect immuno-inhibitory effects. We hypothesized that CCL2 blockade would reduce immunosuppression and augment vaccine immunotherapy. Anti-murine-CCL2/CCL12 monoclonal antibodies were administered in three immunotherapy models: one aimed at the HPV-E7 antigen expressed by a non-small cell lung cancer line, one targeted to mesothelin expressed by a mesothelioma cell line, and one using an adenovirus expressing Interferon-α to treat a non-immunogenic, non-small cell lung cancer line. We evaluated the effect of the combination treatment on tumor growth and assessed the mechanism of these changes by evaluating cytotoxic T cells, immunosuppressive cells, and the tumor microenvironment. Administration of anti-CCL2/CCL12 antibodies along with the vaccines markedly augmented efficacy with enhanced reduction in tumor volume and cures of approximately half of the tumors. The combined treatment generated more total intra-tumoral CD8+ T-cells that were more activated and more anti-tumor antigen specific, as measured by tetramer evaluation. Another important potential mechanism was reduction in intratumoral T-regulatory (T-reg) cells. CCL2 appears to be a key proximal cytokine mediating immunosuppression in tumors. Its blockade augments CD8+ T cell immune response to tumors elicited by vaccines via multifactorial mechanisms. These observations suggest that combining CCL2 neutralization with vaccines should be considered in future immunotherapy trials.
CCL2; Cancer immunotherapy; Lung Cancer; Mesothelioma; T-lymphocytes
CC chemokine ligand 2 (CCL2, also known as monocyte chemoattractant protein-1) has been demonstrated to recruit monocytes to tumor sites. Monocytes are capable of being differentiated into tumor-associated macrophages (TAMs) and osteoclasts (OCs). TAMs have been shown to promote tumor growth in several cancer types. Osteoclasts have also been known to play an important role in cancer bone metastasis. To investigate the effects of CCL2 on tumorigenesis and its potential effects on bone metastasis of human prostate cancer, CCL2 was overexpressed into a luciferase-tagged human prostate cancer cell line PC-3. In vitro, the conditioned medium of CCL2 overexpressing PC-3luc cells (PC-3lucCCL2) was a potent chemoattractant for mouse monocytes in comparison to a conditioned medium from PC-3lucMock. In addition, CCL2 overexpression increased the growth of transplanted xenografts and increased the accumulation of macrophages in vivo. In a tumor dissemination model, PC-3lucCCL2 enhanced the growth of bone metastasis, which was associated with more functional OCs. Neutralizing antibodies targeting both human and mouse CCL2 inhibited the growth of PC-3luc, which was accompanied by a decrease in macrophage recruitment to the tumor. These findings suggest that CCL2 increases tumor growth and bone metastasis through recruitment of macrophages and OCs to the tumor site.
Autocrine and paracrine chemokine/chemokine receptor-based interactions promote non-small-cell-lung-cancer (NSCLC) carcinogenesis. CCL20/CCR6 interactions are involved in prostatic and colonic malignancy pathogenesis. The expression and function of CCL20/CCR6 and its related Th-17 type immune response in NSCLC is not yet defined. We sought to characterize the role of the CCL20/CCR6/IL-17 axis in NSCLC tumor growth.
A specialized histopathologist blindly assessed CCL20/CCR6 expression levels in 49 tissue samples of NSCLC patients operated in our department. Results were correlated to disease progression. Colony assays, ERK signaling and chemokine production were measured to assess cancer cell responsiveness to CCL20 and IL-17 stimulation.
CCL20 was highly expressed in the majority (38/49, 77.5%) of tumor samples. Only a minority of samples (8/49, 16.5%) showed high CCR6 expression. High CCR6 expression was associated with a shorter disease-free survival (P = 0.008) and conferred a disease stage-independent 4.87-fold increased risk for disease recurrence (P = 0.0076, CI 95% 1.52–15.563). Cancerous cell colony-forming capacity was increased by CCL20 stimulation; this effect was dependent in part on ERK phosphorylation and signaling. IL-17 expression was detected in NSCLC; IL-17 potentiated the production of CCL20 by cancerous cells.
Our findings suggest that the CCL20/CCR6 axis promotes NSCLC disease progression. CCR6 is identified as a potential new prognostic marker and the CCL20/CCR6/IL-17 axis as a potential new therapeutic target. Larger scale studies are required to consolidate these observations.
Macrophages abundantly found in the tumor microenvironment enhance malignancy1. At metastatic sites a distinct population of metastasis associated macrophages (MAMs) promote tumor cell extravasation, seeding and persistent growth2. Our study has defined the origin of these macrophages by showing Gr1+ inflammatory monocytes (IMs) are preferentially recruited to pulmonary metastases but not primary mammary tumors, a process also found for human IMs in pulmonary metastases of human breast cancer cells. The recruitment of these CCR2 (receptor for chemokine CCL2) expressing IMs and subsequently MAMs and their interaction with metastasizing tumor cells is dependent on tumor and stromal synthesized CCL2 (FigS1). Inhibition of CCL2/CCR2 signaling using anti-CCL2 antibodies blocks IM recruitment and inhibits metastasis in vivo and prolongs the survival of tumor-bearing mice. Depletion of tumor cell-derived CCL2 also inhibits metastatic seeding. IMs promote tumor cell extravasation in a process that requires monocyte-derived VEGF. CCL2 expression and macrophage infiltration are correlated with poor prognosis and metastatic disease in human breast cancer (Fig S2)3-6. Our data provides the mechanistic link between these two clinical associations and indicates new therapeutic targets for treating metastatic breast disease.
The chemokine CCL2, which is best known for its chemotactic functions, is expressed not only by immune cells, but also by several types of malignant and stromal cells. CCL2 has been shown to exert both pro- and anti-tumor effects. However, recent results demonstrate a main role for CCL2 in tumor progression and metastasis, suggesting that this chemokine may constitute a therapeutic target for anticancer drugs. Mammary carcinoma models, including models of implantable, transgenic, and chemically-induced tumors, were employed in the setting of Ccl2 or Ccr2 knockout mice or CCL2 neutralization with a monoclonal antibody to further investigate the role of the CCL2/CCR2 signaling axis in tumor progression and metastatic spread. In our implantable tumor models, an anti-CCL2 monoclonal antibody inhibited the growth of primary malignant lesions in a biphasic manner and reduced the number of metastases. However, in Ccl2−/− or Ccr2−/− mice developing implanted or transgenic tumors, the number of pulmonary metastases was increased despite a reduction in the growth rate of primary neoplasms. Transgenic Mtag.Ccl2−/− or Mtag.Ccr2−/− mice also exhibited a significantly earlier of disease onset. In a chemical carcinogenesis model, anti-CCL2 monoclonal antibody inhibited the growth of established lesions but was ineffective in the tumor induction phase. In contrast to previous studies indicating a role for CCL2 in the establishment of metastases, we have demonstrated that the absence of CCL2/CCR2-signaling results in increased metastatic disease. Thus, the CCL2/CCR2 signaling axis appears to play a dual role in mediating early tumor immunosurveillance and sustaining the growth and progression of established neoplasms. Our findings support the use of anti-CCL2 therapies for the treatment of established breast carcinoma, although the complete abrogation of the CCL2 signaling cascade may also limit immunosurveillance and support metastatic spread.
breast cancer; CCL2; CCR2; chemokine; immunosurveillance; metastases; monoclonal antibody therapy; tumor progression
Monocyte chemoattractant protein-1 (MCP-1, CCL2) is produced by
many different types of cells. In the current investigation, the
effect of tumor-derived CCL2 on macrophages was evaluated to
determine the extent to which this chemokine influenced the
innate immune response to cancer. To do this, we used the 4T1
murine mammary carcinoma cell line that constitutively expresses
CCL2 and generated 4T1 expressing an antisense CCL2 transcript.
The antisense-CCL2-expressing 4T1 produced no detectable CCL2.
Macrophages from female BALB/c mice were exposed to supernatants
from these tumor cells. The results showed that tumor-derived
CCL2 was capable of modulating cytokine gene expression but not
protein production in resting, activated, and
tumor-associated macrophages. In addition, tumor-derived CCL2 did
not affect phagocytic activity, nitric oxide production, or
cytolytic activity of the macrophages. Overall, these data
suggest that tumor-derived CCL2 does not directly influence
macrophage-mediated antitumor activity.
Based on our preclinical findings, we are assessing the efficacy of intratumoral injection of dendritic cells (DC) transduced with an adenoviral vector expressing the secondary lymphoid chemokine (CCL21) gene (Ad-CCL21-DC) in a phase I trial in advanced non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). While this approach shows immune enhancement, the preparation of autologous DC for CCL21 genetic modification is cumbersome, expensive and time consuming. We are evaluating a non-DC based approach which utilizes vault nanoparticles for intratumoral CCL21 delivery to mediate antitumor activity in lung cancer.
Here we describe that vault nanocapsule platform for CCL21 delivery elicits antitumor activity with inhibition of lung cancer growth. Vault nanocapsule packaged CCL21 (CCL21-vaults) demonstrated functional activity in chemotactic and antigen presenting activity assays. Recombinant vaults impacted chemotactic migration of T cells and this effect was predominantly CCL21 dependent as CCL21 neutralization abrogated the CCL21 mediated enhancement in chemotaxis. Intratumoral administration of CCL21-vaults in mice bearing lung cancer enhanced leukocytic infiltrates (CXCR3+T, CCR7+T, IFNγ+T lymphocytes, DEC205+ DC), inhibited lung cancer tumor growth and reduced the frequencies of immune suppressive cells [myeloid derived suppressor cells (MDSC), T regulatory cells (Treg), IL-10 T cells]. CCL21-vaults induced systemic antitumor responses by augmenting splenic T cell lytic activity against parental tumor cells.
This study demonstrates that the vault nanocapsule can efficiently deliver CCL21 to sustain antitumor activity and inhibit lung cancer growth. The vault nanocapsule can serve as an “off the shelf” approach to deliver antitumor cytokines to treat a broad range of malignancies.
We report here the role of the CXC chemokine, epithelial neutrophil activating peptide (ENA-78), as an angiogenic factor in human non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). In freshly isolated human specimens of NSCLC, elevated levels of ENA-78 were found that strongly correlated with the vascularity of the tumors. In a SCID mouse model of human NSCLC tumorigenesis, expression of ENA-78 in developing tumors correlated with tumor growth in two different NSCLC cell lines. Furthermore, passive immunization of NSCLC tumor-bearing mice with neutralizing anti-ENA-78 antibodies reduced tumor growth, tumor vascularity, and spontaneous metastases, while having no effect on the proliferation of NSCLC cells either in vitro or in vivo. These findings suggest that ENA-78 is an important angiogenic factor in human NSCLC.
Activation of peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-γ (PPARγ) inhibits growth of cancer cells including non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). Clinically, use of thiazolidinediones, which are pharmacological activators of PPARγ is associated with a lower risk of developing lung cancer. However, the role of this pathway in lung cancer metastasis has not been examined well. The systemic effect of pioglitazone was examined in two models of lung cancer metastasis in immune-competent mice. In an orthotopic model, murine lung cancer cells implanted into the lungs of syngeneic mice metastasized to the liver and brain. As a second model, cancer cells injected subcutaneously metastasized to the lung. In both models systemic administration of pioglitazone increased the rate of metastasis. Examination of tissues from the orthotopic model demonstrated increased numbers of arginase I-positive macrophages in tumors from pioglitazone-treated animals. In co-culture experiments of cancer cells with bone marrow-derived macrophages, pioglitazone promoted arginase I expression in macrophages and this was dependent on the expression of PPARγ in the macrophages. To assess the contribution of PPARγ in macrophages to cancer progression, experiments were performed in bone marrow-transplanted animals receiving bone marrow from Lys-M-Cre+/PPARγflox/flox mice, in which PPARγ is deleted specifically in myeloid cells (PPARγ-Macneg), or control PPARγflox/flox mice. In both models, mice receiving PPARγ-Macneg bone marrow had a marked decrease in secondary tumors which was not significantly altered by treatment with pioglitazone. This was associated with decreased numbers of arginase I-positive cells in the lung. These data support a model in which activation of PPARγ may have opposing effects on tumor progression, with anti-tumorigenic effects on cancer cells, but pro-tumorigenic effects on cells of the microenvironment, specifically myeloid cells.
The chemokine receptor CXCR4 and its ligand CXCL12 is overexpressed in the majority of tumors and is critically involved in the development and metastasis of these tumors. CXCR4 is expressed in malignant tumor cells whereas its ligand SDF-1 (CXCL12) is expressed mainly by cancer associated fibroblasts (CAF). Similarly to CXCR4, the chemokine CCL20 is overexpressed in variety of tumors; however its role and regulation in tumors is not fully clear. Here, we show that the chemokine receptor CXCR4 stimulates the production of the chemokine CCL20 and that CCL20 stimulates the proliferation and adhesion to collagen of various tumor cells. Furthermore, overexpression of CCL20 in tumor cells promotes growth and adhesion in vitro and increased tumor growth and invasiveness in vivo. Moreover, neutralizing antibodies to CCL20 inhibit the in vivo growth of tumors that either overexpress CXCR4 or CCL20 or naturally express CCL20. These results reveal a role for CCL20 in CXCR4-dependent and -independent tumor growth and suggest a therapeutic potential for CCL20 and CCR6 antagonists in the treatment of CXCR4- and CCL20-dependent malignancies.
Alcohol consumption is a risk factor for breast cancer in humans. Experimental studies indicate that alcohol exposure promotes malignant progression of mammary tumors. However, the underlying cellular and molecular mechanisms remain unclear. Alcohol induces a pro-inflammatory response by modulating the expression of cytokines and chemokines. Monocyte chemoattractant protein-1 (MCP-1), also known as chemokine (C-C motif) ligand 2 (CCL2), is a pro-inflammatory chemokine implicated in breast cancer development/malignancy. We investigated the role of MCP-1 in alcohol-promoted mammary tumor progression. Using a xenograft model, we demonstrated that alcohol increased tumor angiogenesis and promoted growth/metastasis of breast cancer cells in C57BL/6 mice. Alcohol up-regulated the expression of MCP-1 and its receptor CCR2 in breast cancer cells in vitro and in vivo. Using a three-dimensional (3-D) tumor/endothelial cell co-culture system, we demonstrated MCP-1 regulated tumor/endothelial cell interaction and promoted tumor angiogenesis. More importantly, MCP-1 mediated alcohol-promoted angiogenesis; an antagonist of the MCP-1 receptor CCR2 significantly inhibited alcohol-stimulated tumor angiogenesis. The CCR2 antagonist abolished ethanol-stimulated growth of mammary tumors in mice. We further demonstrated that MCP-1 enhanced the migration, but not the proliferation of endothelial cells as well as breast cancer cells. These results suggest that MCP-1 plays an important role in ethanol-stimulated tumor angiogenesis and tumor progression.
Alcohol; angiogenesis; chemokines; metastasis; migration
Monocyte chemoattractant protein 1 (MCP-1; CCL2) is a recently identified prominent regulator of prostate cancer growth and metastasis. The purpose of this study was to investigate the mechanistic role of CCL2 in prostate cancer growth in bone. The present study found that CCL2 was upregulated in osteoblasts (3-fold by PC3 and 2-fold by VCaP conditioned media) and endothelial cell (2-fold by PC3 and VCaP conditioned media). PTHrP treatment of osteoblastic cells upregulated CCL2 and was blocked by a PTHrP antagonist suggesting prostate cancer-derived PTHrP plays an important role in elevation of osteoblast derived CCL2. CCL2 indirectly increased blood vessel formation in endothelial cells through VEGF-A, which was up-regulated 2-fold with administration of CCL2 in prostate cancer cells. In vivo, anti-CCL2 treatment suppressed tumor growth in bone. The decreased tumor burden was associated with decreased bone resorption (serum TRAP5b levels were decreased by 50~60% in anti-CCL2 treated animals from VCaP or PC-3 cell osseous lesions) and micro-vessel density was decreased by 70% in anti-CCL2 treated animals with bone lesions from VCaP cells. These data suggest that a destructive cascade is driven by tumor cell-derived PTHrP mediated induction of CCL2, which facilitates tumor growth via enhanced osteoclastic and endothelial cell activity in bone marrow. Taken together, CCL2 mediates the interaction between tumor-derived factors and host-derived chemokines acting in cooperation to promote skeletal metastasis.
CCL2; prostate cancer; parathyroid hormone related protein
MCP-1/CCL2 plays an important role in the initiation and progression of cancer. Since tumor cells produce MCP-1, they are considered to be the main source of this chemokine. Here, we examined whether MCP-1 produced by non-tumor cells affects the growth and lung metastasis of 4T1 breast cancer cells by transplanting them into the mammary pad of WT or MCP-1−/− mice. Primary tumors at the injected site grew similarly in both mice; however, lung metastases were markedly reduced in MCP-1−/− mice, with significantly longer mouse survival. High levels of MCP-1 mRNA were detected in tumors growing in WT, but not MCP-1−/− mice. Serum MCP-1 levels were increased in tumor-bearing WT, but not MCP-1−/− mice. Transplantation of MCP-1−/− bone marrow cells into WT mice did not alter the incidence of lung metastasis, whereas transplantation of WT bone marrow cells into MCP-1−/− mice increased lung metastasis. The primary tumors of MCP-1−/− mice consistently developed necrosis earlier than those of WT mice and showed decreased infiltration by macrophages and reduced angiogenesis. Interestingly, 4T1 cells that metastasized to the lung constitutively expressed elevated levels of MCP-1, and intravenous injection of 4T1 cells producing a high level of MCP-1 resulted in increased tumor foci in the lung of WT and MCP-1−/− mice. Thus, stromal cell-derived MCP-1 in the primary tumors promotes lung metastasis of 4T1 cells, but tumor cell-derived MCP-1 can also contribute once tumor cells enter the circulation. A greater understanding of the source and role of this chemokine may lead to novel strategies for cancer treatment.
The chemokine CCL5 (RANTES) plays active promalignancy roles in breast malignancy. The secretion of CCL5 by breast tumor cells is an important step in its tumor-promoting activities; therefore, inhibition of CCL5 secretion may have antitumorigenic effects. We demonstrate that, in breast tumor cells, CCL5 secretion necessitated the trafficking of CCL5-containing vesicles on microtubules from the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) to the post-Golgi stage, and CCL5 release was regulated by the rigidity of the actin cytoskeleton. Focusing on the 40s loop of CCL5, we found that the 43TRKN46 sequence of CCL5 was indispensable for its inclusion in motile vesicles, and for its secretion. The TRKN-mutated chemokine reached the Golgi, but trafficked along the ER-to-post-Golgi route differently than the wild-type (WT) chemokine. Based on the studies showing that the 40s loop of CCL5 mediates its binding to glycosaminoglycans (GAG), we analyzed the roles of GAG in regulating CCL5 secretion. TRKN-mutated CCL5 had lower propensity for colocalization with GAG in the Golgi compared to the WT chemokine. Secretion of WT CCL5 was significantly reduced in CHO mutant cells deficient in GAG synthesis, and the WT chemokine acquired an ER-like distribution in these cells, similar to that of TRKN-mutated CCL5 in GAG-expressing cells. The release of WT CCL5 was also reduced after inhibition of GAG presence/synthesis by intracellular expression of heparanase, inhibition of GAG sulfation, and sulfate deprivation. The need for a 43TRKN46 motif and for a GAG-mediated process in CCL5 secretion may enable the future design of modalities that prevent CCL5 release by breast tumor cells.
Using genetic interventions, we previously determined that C-C motif chemokine ligand 2 (CCL2) promotes malignant pleural effusion (MPE) formation in mice. Here we conducted preclinical studies aimed at assessing the specific therapeutic potential of antibody-mediated CCL2 blockade against MPE. For this, murine MPEs or skin tumors were generated in C57BL/6 mice by intrapleural or subcutaneous delivery of lung (LLC) or colon (MC38) adenocarcinoma cells. Human lung adenocarcinoma cells (A549) were used to induce MPEs in severe combined immunodeficient mice. Intraperitoneal antibodies neutralizing mouse CCL2 and/or CCL12, a murine CCL2 ortholog, were administered at 10 or 50 mg/kg every three days. We found that high doses of CCL2/12 neutralizing antibody treatment (50 mg/kg) were required to limit MPE formation by LLC cells. CCL2 and CCL12 blockade were equally potent inhibitors of MPE development by LLC cells. Combined CCL2 and CCL12 neutralization was also effective against MC38-induced MPE and prolonged the survival of mice in both syngeneic models. Mouse-specific CCL2-blockade limited A549-caused xenogeneic MPE, indicating that host-derived CCL2 also contributes to MPE precipitation in mice. The impact of CCL2/12 antagonism was associated with inhibition of immune and vascular MPE-related phenomena, such as inflammation, new blood vessel assembly and plasma extravasation into the pleural space. We conclude that CCL2 and CCL12 blockade are effective against experimental MPE induced by murine and human adenocarcinoma in mice. These results suggest that CCL2-targeted therapies may hold promise for future use against human MPE.
The attraction of leukocytes from circulation to inflamed lungs depends on the activation of both the leukocytes and the resident cells within the lung. In this study we determined gene expression and secretion patterns for monocyte chemoattractant protein-1 (MCP-1/CCL2) and T-cell specific CXCR3 agonistic chemokines (Mig/CXCL9, IP-10/CXCL10, and I-TAC/CXCL11) in TNF-α-, IFN-γ-, and IL-1β-stimulated human alveolar epithelial cells type II (AEC-II). AEC-II constitutively expressed high level of CCL2 mRNA in vitro and in situ , and released CCL2 protein in vitro . Treatment of AEC-II with proinflammatory cytokines up-regulated both CCL2 mRNA expression and release of immunoreactive CCL2, whereas IFN-γ had no effect on CCL2 release. In contrast, CXCR3 agonistic chemokines were not detected in freshly isolated AEC-II or in non-stimulated epithelial like cell line A549. IFN-γ, alone or in combination with IL-1β and TNF-α resulted in an increase in CXCL10, CXCL11, and CXCL9 mRNA expression and generation of CXCL10 protein by AEC-II or A549 cells. CXCL10 gene expression and secretion were induced in dose-dependent manner after cytokine-stimulation of AEC-II with an order of potency IFN-γ>>IL-1β ≥ TNF-α. Additionally, we localized the CCL2 and CXCL10 mRNAs in human lung tissue explants by in situ hybridization, and demonstrated the selective effects of cytokines and dexamethasone on CCL2 and CXCL10 expression. These data suggest that the regulation of the CCL2 and CXCL10 expression exhibit significant differences in their mechanisms, and also demonstrate that the alveolar epithelium contributes to the cytokine milieu of the lung, with the ability to respond to locally generated cytokines and to produce potent mediators of the local inflammatory response.
Increased CCL5 levels are markers of an unfavourable outcome in patients with melanoma, breast, cervical, prostate, gastric or pancreatic cancer. Here, we have assessed the role played by CCL5/CCR5 interactions in the development of colon cancer. To do so, we have examined a number of human colorectal carcinoma clinical specimens and found CCL5 and its receptors over-expressed within primary as well as liver and pulmonary metastases of patients compared to healthy tissues. In vitro, CCL5 increased the growth and migratory responses of colon cancer cells from both human and mouse origins. In addition, systemic treatment of mice with CCL5-directed antibodies reduced the extent of development of subcutaneous colon tumors, of liver metastases and of peritoneal carcinosis. Consistently, we found increased numbers of CD45-immunoreactive cells within the stroma of the remaining lesions as well as at the interface with the healthy tissue. In contrast, selective targeting of CCR5 through administration of TAK-779, a CCR5 antagonist, only partially compromised colon cancer progression. Furthermore, CCL5 neutralization rendered the tumors more sensitive to a PDGFRβ-directed strategy in mice, this combination regimen offering the greatest protection against liver metastases and suppressing macroscopic peritoneal carcinosis. Collectively, our data demonstrate the involvement of CCL5 in the pathogenesis of colorectal carcinoma and point to its potential value as a therapeutic target.
The aim of this study was to determine the role of CC chemokine CCL6/C10 in acute inflammation. Intraperitoneal injection of thioglycollate increased peritoneal CCL6, which peaked at 4 h and remained elevated at 48 h. Neutralization of CCL6 significantly inhibited the macrophage infiltration (34-48% reduction), but not other cell types, without decreasing the other CC chemokines known to attract monocytes/macrophages. CCL6 was expressed in peripheral eosinophils and elicited macrophages, but not in elicited neutrophils. Peritoneal CCL6 level was not decreased in granulocyte-depleted mice where eosinophil influx was significantly impaired. Thus, CCL6 appears to contribute to the macrophage infiltration that is independent of other CC chemokines. Eosinophils pre-store CCL6, but do not release CCL6 in the peritoneum in this model of inflammation.
Vα24-invariant natural killer T (NKT) cells are potentially important for antitumor immunity. We and others have previously demonstrated positive associations between NKT cell presence in primary tumors and long-term survival in distinct human cancers. However, the mechanism by which aggressive tumors avoid infiltration with NKT and other T cells remains poorly understood. Here, we report that the v-myc myelocytomatosis viral related oncogene, neuroblastoma derived (MYCN), the hallmark of aggressive neuroblastoma, repressed expression of monocyte chemoattractant protein–1/CC chemokine ligand 2 (MCP-1/CCL2), a chemokine required for NKT cell chemoattraction. MYCN knockdown in MYCN-amplified neuroblastoma cell lines restored CCL2 production and NKT cell chemoattraction. Unlike other oncogenes, MYCN repressed chemokine expression in a STAT3-independent manner, requiring an E-box element in the CCL2 promoter to mediate transcriptional repression. MYCN overexpression in neuroblastoma xenografts in NOD/SCID mice severely inhibited their ability to attract human NKT cells, T cells, and monocytes. Patients with MYCN-amplified neuroblastoma metastatic to bone marrow had 4-fold fewer NKT cells in their bone marrow than did their nonamplified counterparts, indicating that the MYCN-mediated immune escape mechanism, which we believe to be novel, is operative in metastatic cancer and should be considered in tumor immunobiology and for the development of new therapeutic strategies.
Mouse CCL8 is a CC chemokine of the monocyte chemoattractant protein (MCP) family whose biological activity and receptor usage have remained elusive. Here we show that CCL8 is highly expressed in the skin, where it serves as an agonist for the chemokine receptor CCR8 but not for CCR2. This distinguishes CCL8 from all other MCP chemokines. CCL8 responsiveness defined a population of highly differentiated, CCR8-expressing inflammatory T helper type 2 (TH2) cells enriched for interleukin (IL)-5. Ccr8- and Ccl8-deficient mice had markedly less eosinophilic inflammation than wild-type or Ccr4-deficient mice in a model of chronic atopic dermatitis. Adoptive transfer studies established CCR8 as a key regulator of TH2 cell recruitment into allergen-inflamed skin. In humans, CCR8 expression also defined an IL-5–enriched TH2 cell subset. The CCL8-CCR8 chemokine axis is therefore a crucial regulator of TH2 cell homing that drives IL-5–mediated chronic allergic inflammation.
Tumor cell growth and migration can be directly regulated by chemokines. In the present study the association of CCL11 with ovarian cancer has been investigated.
Experimental design and results
Circulating levels of CCL11 in sera of patients with ovarian cancer were significantly lower than those in healthy women or women with breast, lung, liver, pancreatic or colon cancers. Cultured ovarian carcinoma cells absorbed soluble CCL11 indicating that absorption by tumor cells could be responsible for the observed reduction of serum level of CCL11 in ovarian cancer. Postoperative CCL11 levels in women with ovarian cancer negatively correlated with relapse-free survival. Ovarian tumors overexpressed three known cognate receptors of CCL11, CCR2, CCR3, and CCR5. Strong positive correlation was observed between expression of individual receptors and tumor grade. CCL11 potently stimulated proliferation and migration/invasion of ovarian carcinoma cell lines, and these effects were inhibited by neutralizing antibodies against CCR2,3, and 5. The growth stimulatory effects of CCL11 were likely associated with activation of ERK1/2, MEK-1, and STAT3 phosphoproteins and with increased production of multiple cytokines, growth and angiogenic factors. Inhibition of CCL11 signaling by the combination of neutralizing antibodies against the ligand and its receptors significantly increased sensitivity to cisplatin in ovarian carcinoma cells. We conclude that CCL11 signaling plays an important role in proliferation and invasion of ovarian carcinoma cells and CCL11 pathway could be targeted for therapy in ovarian cancer. Furthermore, CCL11 could be used as a biomarker and a prognostic factor of relapse-free survival in ovarian cancer.
NF-κB is constitutively activated in many cancer types and is a potential key mediator of tumor-associated inflammation, tumor growth, and metastasis. We investigated the role of cancer cell NF-κB activity in T cell–mediated antitumor responses. In tumors rendered immunogenic by model antigen expression or following administration of antitumor vaccines, we found that high NF-κB activity leads to tumor rejection and/or growth suppression in mice. Using a global RNA expression microarray, we demonstrated that NF-κB enhanced expression of several T cell chemokines, including Ccl2, and decreased CCL2 expression was associated with enhanced tumor growth in a mouse lung cancer model. To investigate NF-κB function in human lung tumors, we identified a gene expression signature in human lung adenocarcinoma cell lines that was associated with NF-κB activity level. In patient tumor samples, overall lung tumor NF-κB activity was strongly associated with T cell infiltration but not with cancer cell proliferation. These results therefore indicate that NF-κB activity mediates immune surveillance and promotes antitumor T cell responses in both murine and human lung cancer.
Interleukin-6 (IL-6) is involved in lung cancer tumorigenesis, tumor progression, metastasis, and drug resistance. Previous studies show that blockade of IL-6 signaling can inhibit tumor growth and increase drug sensitivity in mouse models. Clinical trials in non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) reveal that IL-6 targeted therapy relieves NSCLC-related anemia and cachexia, although other clinical effects require further study. We crossed IL-6-/- mice with KrasG12D mutant mice, which develop lung tumors after activation of mutant KrasG12D, to investigate whether IL-6 inhibition contributes to tumor progression and survival time in vivo. KrasG12D; IL-6-/- mice exhibited increased tumorigenesis, but slower tumor growth and longer survival, than KrasG12D mice. Further, in order to investigate whether IL-6 deletion contributes to suppression of lung cancer metastasis, we generated KrasG12D; p53flox/flox; IL-6-/- mice, which developed lung cancer with a trend for reduced metastases and longer survival than KrasG12D; p53flox/flox mice. Tumors from KrasG12D; IL-6-/- mice showed increased expression of TNFα and decreased expression of CCL-19, CCL-20 and phosphorylated STAT3 (pSTAT3) than KrasG12D mice; however, these changes were not present between tumors from KrasG12D; p53flox/flox; IL-6-/- and KrasG12D; p53flox/flox mice. Upregulation of pSTAT3 and phosphorylated AKT (pAKT) were observed in KrasG12D tumors with p53 deletion. Taken together, these results indicate that IL-6 deletion accelerates tumorigenesis but delays tumor progression and prolongs survival time in a Kras-driven mouse model of lung cancer. However, these effects can be attenuated by p53 deletion.