Macrophages associated with murine tumours express plasminogen activator activity

L. Mussoni, M. Riganti, R. Acero, A. Erroi, G. Conforti, A. Mantovani, M. B. Donati

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The fibrinolytic activity of cancer cells has been repeatedly implicated in mechanisms of local spread and tumour invasiveness. Mononuclear phagocytes associated with solid tumours might also contribute to fibrin dissolution at the tumour/host interface through the expression of plasminogen activator (PA) activity. We have investigated the PA activity of tumour-associated macrophages (TAM) from 4 transplanted murine tumours in syngeneic hosts; peritoneal macrophages (native and thioglycolate-elicited) from both tumour-bearing and control animals were studied as reference cells. TAM from 3 tumours (MSV, mFS6, MN/MCA1) had basal levels of PA activity (20% plasminogen-independent) comparable to or higher than those of thioglycolate-elicited peritoneal macrophages from the same tumour-bearing animals. TAM isolated from 1 tumour (MS2) had a PA which was very low (60% plasminogen-independent), but higher than the activity of unstimulated peritoneal macrophages. Molecular analysis of PA by SDS-PAGE electrophoresis and fibrin autography revealed in all macrophages a single species having an apparent MW of 48 kDA. It thus appears that, in some experimental neoplasms, tumour cell vicinity may represent an in vivo stimulus for macrophage PA expression.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)227-230
Number of pages4
JournalInternational Journal of Cancer
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1988

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cancer Research
  • Oncology


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