Metastatic tumour progression is facilitated by tumour associated macrophages (TAMs) that enforce pro-tumour mechanisms and suppress immunity. In pulmonary metastases, it is unclear whether TAMs comprise tissue resident or infiltrating, recruited macrophages; and the different expression patterns of these TAMs are not well established. Using the mouse melanoma B16F10 model of experimental pulmonary metastasis, we show that infiltrating macrophages (IM) change their gene expression from an early pro-inflammatory to a later tumour promoting profile as the lesions grow. In contrast, resident alveolar macrophages (AM) maintain expression of crucial pro-inflammatory/anti-tumour genes with time. During metastatic growth, the pool of macrophages, which initially contains mainly alveolar macrophages, increasingly consists of infiltrating macrophages potentially facilitating metastasis progression. Blocking chemokine receptor mediated macrophage infiltration in the lung revealed a prominent role for CCR2 in Ly6C+ pro-inflammatory monocyte/macrophage recruitment during metastasis progression, while inhibition of CCR2 signalling led to increased metastatic colony burden. CCR1 blockade, in contrast, suppressed late phase pro-tumour MR+Ly6C- monocyte/macrophage infiltration accompanied by expansion of the alveolar macrophage compartment and accumulation of NK cells, leading to reduced metastatic burden. These data indicate that IM has greater plasticity and higher phenotypic responsiveness to tumour challenge than AM. A considerable difference is also confirmed between CCR1 and CCR2 with regard to the recruited IM subsets, with CCR1 presenting a potential therapeutic target in pulmonary metastasis from melanoma.
Open Access funding enabled and organized by CAUL and its Member Institutions.
- Cancer models
- Innate immune cells