Low levels of tumor necrosis factor alpha increase tumor growth by inducing an endothelial phenotype of monocytes recruited to the tumor site.

Li B, Vincent A, Cates J, Brantley-Sieders DM, Polk DB, Young PP
Cancer Res. 2009 69 (1): 338-48

PMID: 19118019 · PMCID: PMC2651676 · DOI:10.1158/0008-5472.CAN-08-1565

Microenvironmental cues instruct infiltrating tumor-associated myeloid cells to drive malignant progression. A subpopulation of tumor-associated myeloid cells coexpressing endothelial and myeloid markers, although rare in peripheral blood, are primarily associated with tumors where they enhance tumor growth and angiogenesis. These biphenotypic vascular leukocytes result from the endothelial differentiation of myeloid progenitors, a process regulated by tumor necrosis factor (TNF)alpha in vitro. An in vivo increase in tumor-derived TNFalpha expression promoted tumor growth and vascularity of mouse melanoma, lung cancer, and mammary tumors. Notably, tumor growth was accompanied by a significant increase in myeloid/endothelial biphenotypic populations. TNFalpha-associated tumor growth, vascularity, and generation of tumor vascular leukocytes in mouse melanoma tumors were dependent on intact host TNFalpha receptors. Importantly, TNFalpha-expressing tumors did not exhibit increased inflammation over control tumors, suggesting a unique action related to myeloid to endothelial differentiation. Our studies suggest that TNFalpha constitutes a tumor microenvironment signal that biases recruited monocytes toward a proangiogenic/provasculogenic myeloid/endothelial phenotype.

MeSH Terms (18)

Animals Carcinoma, Lewis Lung Cell Differentiation Cell Growth Processes Cells, Cultured Endothelial Cells Humans Lipopolysaccharide Receptors Melanoma, Experimental Mice Mice, Inbred C57BL Mice, Inbred NOD Mice, SCID Mice, Transgenic Monocytes Neovascularization, Pathologic Receptors, Tumor Necrosis Factor Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha

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