Almost any growth of tumors is to some extent associated with an inflammatory reaction which may be anti-tumorigenic by acting directly on tumor cells or protumorigenic cells presumably by inducing tumor-associated angiogenesis. In this study, we have analyzed the angiogenesis-inducing capacity of monocyte chemoattractant protein-1 (MCP-1), a key regulatory molecule of monocyte trafficking to sites of inflammation. MCP-1 was found to be potently angiogenic when implanted into rabbit cornea, exerting potency similar to the specific angiogenic vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF)-A(121). MCP-1-induced angiogenesis in the cornea is associated with prominent recruitment of macrophages, whereas VEGF-A(121)-induced corneal angiogenesis is devoid of inflammatory cell recruitment. Based on these findings, we studied MCP-1 expression and macrophage recruitment in human invasive ductal mammary carcinomas in comparison with the physiological angiogenic processes in bovine ovarian corpus luteum. Macrophage recruitment was always associated with MCP-1 expression. High macrophage counts in mammary tumors corresponded with poor prognosis. In contrast, physiological ovarian angiogenesis was associated with only minimal inflammatory recruitment of macrophages. Our data show that MCP-1 is an indirect inflammation-associated inducer of angiogenesis and demonstrate distinct qualitative differences between tumor angiogenesis in human mammary tumors and physiological angiogenesis in the ovary.
Copyright 1999 Wiley-Liss, Inc.