Defective antitumor function of monocyte -derived macrophages from epithelial ovarian cancer patients

Ilyssa Okrent Gordon, The University of Texas Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences at Houston


An abundance of monocytes and macrophages (MO/MA) in the microenvironment of epithelial ovarian cancer (EOC) suggests possible dual roles for these cells. Certain MO/MA subpopulations may inhibit tumor growth by antibody-dependent cell-mediated cytotoxicity (ADCC), phagocytosis, or stimulation of adaptive immunity. In contrast, other MO/MA subpopulations may support tumor growth by immunosuppressive or pro-angiogenic cytokine production. A better understanding of the phenotype and activity of MO/MA in EOC should lead to greater insight into their role in the immunopathobiology of EOC and hence suggest targets for treatment. We have found differences in the proportions of MO/MA subpopulations in the peripheral blood and ascites of EOC patients compared to normal donors, and differences in MO/MA surface phenotype in the associated tumor environment compared to the systemic circulation. We also demonstrate that, following their activation in vitro, monocyte-derived macrophages (MDM) from the peripheral blood and ascites of EOC patients exhibit antitumor effector activities that are different from the behavior of normal donor cells. The phenotypic characteristics and antitumor activity of CD14+ MO/MA and an isolated subpopulation of CD14brightCD16 −HLA-DR+ MO/MA were compared in samples of normal donor peripheral blood and the peripheral blood and ascites from EOC patients. MDM were cultured with macrophage colony-stimulating factor (M-CSF) and activated with lipopolysaccharide (LPS) or a combination of LPS plus recombinant interferon-gamma. We determined that MO/MA from EOC patients had altered morphology and significantly less ADCC and phagocytic activity than did MO/MA from normal donors. ADCC and phagocytosis are mediated by receptors for the Fe portion of IgG (FcγRs), the expression of which were also found to be deficient on EOC MDM from peripheral blood and ascites. Anti-tumor functions not mediated by the FcγRs, such as macrophage mediated cytotoxicity and cytostasis, were not impaired in EOC MDM compared to normal donor MDM. Our findings also showed that MDM from both EOC patients and normal donors produce M-CSF-stimulated cytokines, including interleukin-8, tumor necrosis factor alpha, and interleukin-6, which have the potential to support ovarian tumor growth and metastasis. These findings may be relevant to the pathogenesis of EOC and to the development of future bioimmunotherapeutic strategies.

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Recommended Citation

Gordon, Ilyssa Okrent, "Defective antitumor function of monocyte -derived macrophages from epithelial ovarian cancer patients" (2005). Texas Medical Center Dissertations (via ProQuest). AAI3180669.