[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The role and characteristics of tumor-associated neutrophils (TAN) in cancer are poorly defined. We have recently shown that TAN can have anti-tumorigenic (N1) or pro-tumorigenic (N2) functions. An interesting unanswered question is how the phenotype of TAN is influenced by the ongoing evolvement of tumor microenvironment. We therefore studied the phenotype and effects of TAN at different time points during tumor progression. We used two models of murine tumor cancer cell lines-Lewis lung carcinoma (LLC) and AB12 (mesothelioma). Neutrophils were studied at early and late stages and compared to each other and to neutrophils from bone marrow/periphery of naïve mice. Although there was no difference in the number of neutrophils entering the tumor, we found that at early stages of tumor development, neutrophils were almost exclusively at the periphery of the tumor. Only at later stages, neutrophils were also found scattered among the tumor cells. We further found that TAN from early tumors are more cytotoxic toward tumor cells and produce higher levels of TNF-α, NO and H2O2. In established tumors, these functions are down-regulated and TAN acquire a more pro-tumorigenic phenotype. In line with this phenotype, only depletion of neutrophils at later stages of tumor development inhibited tumor growth, possibly due to their central location in the tumor. Our work adds another important layer to the understanding of neutrophils in cancer by further characterizing the changes in TAN during time. Additional research on the functional role of TAN and differences between subsets of TAN is currently underway.
Full-text · Article · Oct 2013 · Cancer Immunology and Immunotherapy
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The role of myeloid cells in supporting cancer growth is well established. Most work has focused on myeloid-derived suppressor cells (MDSC) that accumulate in tumor-bearing animals, but tumor-associated neutrophils (TAN) are also known to be capable of augmenting tumor growth. However, little is known about their evolution, phenotype, and relationship to naïve neutrophils (NN) and to the granulocytic fraction of MDSC (G-MDSC).
In the current study, a transcriptomics approach was used in mice to compare these cell types. Our data show that the three populations of neutrophils are significantly different in their mRNA profiles with NN and G-MDSC being more closely related to each other than to TAN. Structural genes and genes related to cell-cytotoxicity (i.e. respiratory burst) were significantly down-regulated in TAN. In contrast, many immune-related genes and pathways, including genes related to the antigen presenting complex (e.g. all six MHC-II complex genes), and cytokines (e.g. TNF-α, IL-1-α/β), were up-regulated in G-MDSC, and further up-regulated in TAN. Thirteen of the 25 chemokines tested were markedly up-regulated in TAN compared to NN, including striking up-regulation of chemoattractants for T/B-cells, neutrophils and macrophages.
This study characterizes different populations of neutrophils related to cancer, pointing out the major differences between TAN and the other neutrophil populations.