Defective expression of the monocyte chemotactic protein-1 receptor CCR2 in macrophages associated with human ovarian carcinoma

Antonio Sica, Alessandra Saccani, Barbara Bottazzi, Sergio Bernasconi, Paola Allavena, Brancatelli Gaetano, Francesca Fei, Graig LaRosa, Chris Scotton, Frances Balkwill, Alberto Mantovani

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Monocyte chemotactic protein-1 (MCP-1, CCL2) is an important determinant of macrophage infiltration in tumors, ovarian carcinoma in particular. MCP-1 binds the chemokine receptor CCR2. Recent results indicate that proinflammatory and antiinflammatory signals regulate chemokine receptor expression in monocytes. The present study was designed to investigate the expression of CCR2 in tumor-associated macrophages (TAM) from ovarian cancer patients. TAM isolated from ascitic or solid ovarian carcinoma displayed defective CCR2 mRNA (Northern blot and PCR) and surface expression and did not migrate in response to MCP-1. The defect was selective for CCR2 in that CCR1 and CCR5 were expressed normally in TAM. CCR2 gene expression and chemotactic response to MCP-1 were decreased to a lesser extent in blood monocytes from cancer patients. CCR2 mRNA levels and the chemotactic response to MCP-1 were drastically reduced in fresh monocytes cultured in the presence of tumor ascites from cancer patients. Ab against TNF-α restored the CCR2 mRNA level monocytes cultured in the presence of ascitic fluid. The finding of defective CCR2 expression in TAM, largely dependent on local TNF production, is consistent with previous in vitro data on down-regulation of chemokine receptors by proinflammatory molecule. Receptor inhibition may serve as a mechanism to arrest and retain recruited macrophages and to prevent chemokine scavenging by mononuclear phagocytes at sites of inflammation and tumor growth. In the presence of advanced tumors or chronic inflammation, systemic down-regulation of receptor expression by proinflammatory molecules leaking in the systemic circulation may account for defective chemotaxis and a defective capacity to mount inflammatory responses associated with advanced neoplasia.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)733-738
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Immunology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Jan 15 2000

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology


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