Author(s): Harmey JH, Dimitriadis E, Kay E, Redmond HP, BouchierHayes D
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Abstract BACKGROUND: Breast tumors contain high numbers of infiltrating macrophages. The role and function of these cells within the tumor remain unclear, but a number of studies have found an association between poor prognosis and macrophage content in human breast cancer. Both hypoxia and TGFbeta-1 have been shown to regulate VEGF in other cell types. We hypothesized that breast tumor-associated macrophages produce VEGF and that macrophage production of this factor is regulated by both hypoxia and TGFbeta-1. METHODS: Paraffin-embedded breast tumor sections were stained immunohistochemically with anti-VEGF, anti-CD68, and anti-cytokeratin. Monocytes were matured for 3 days in 20\% autologous plasma and activated with 1000 U/mL interferon-gamma for 24 hours. Supernatants were assayed for VEGF protein by ELISA. Total RNA was isolated from cells and reverse transcribed to cDNA, which was used as a template in PCR reactions for VEGF and beta-actin. RESULTS: Both tumor cells and tumor macrophages produce VEGF in human breast tumors. Hypoxia increases VEGF protein and mRNA levels in monocyte-derived macrophages, whereas TGFbeta-1 increases VEGF protein but not mRNA under hypoxic growth conditions. CONCLUSIONS: Breast tumor-associated macrophages may contribute to the angiogenic activity of human breast tumors by producing VEGF. Macrophage production of VEGF is upregulated by hypoxia and TGFbeta-1, both of which occur in the tumor environment. Macrophage production of VEGF is regulated at both the mRNA and protein levels.
This article was published in Ann Surg Oncol
and referenced in Medicinal Chemistry