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A distinct and unique transcriptional program expressed by tumor-associated macrophages (defective NF-kappaB and enhanced IRF-3/STAT1 activation).

journal article

Biswas SK, Gangi L, Paul S, Schioppa T, Saccani A, Sironi M, Bottazzi B, Doni A, Vincenzo B, Pasqualini F, Vago L, Nebuloni M, Mantovani A, Sica A.
Blood. 2006 Mar 1;107(5):2112-22. Epub 2005 Nov 3.

To identify the molecular basis underlying the functions of tumor-associated macrophages (TAMs), we characterized the gene expression profile of TAMs isolated from a murine fibrosarcoma in comparison with peritoneal macrophages (PECs) and myeloid suppressor cells (MSCs), using a cDNA microarray technology. Among the differentially expressed genes, 15 genes relevant to inflammation and immunity were validated by real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and protein production. Resting TAMs showed a characteristic gene expression pattern with higher expression of genes coding for the immunosuppressive cytokine IL-10, phagocytosis-related receptors/molecules (Msr2 and C1q), and inflammatory chemokines (CCL2 and CCL5) as expected, as well as, unexpectedly, IFN-inducible chemokines (CXCL9, CXCL10, CXCL16). Immunohistology confirmed and extended the in vitro analysis by showing that TAMs express M2-associated molecules (eg, IL-10 and MGL1), as well as CCL2, CCL5, CXCL9, CXCL10, and CXCL16, but no appreciable NOS2. Lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-mediated activation of TAMs resulted in defective expression of several proinflammatory cytokines (eg, IL-1beta, IL-6, TNF-alpha) and chemokines (eg, CCL3), as opposed to a strong up-regulation of immunosuppressive cytokines (IL-10, TGFbeta) and IFN-inducible chemokines (CCL5, CXCL9, CXCL10, CXCL16). Thus, profiling of TAMs from a murine sarcoma revealed unexpected expression of IFN-inducible chemokines, associated with an M2 phenotype (IL-10high, IL-12low), and divergent regulation of the NF-kappaB versus the IRF-3/STAT1 pathway.


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