Interferons induce CXCR3-cognate chemokine production by human metastatic melanoma

J Immunother. Nov-Dec 2010;33(9):965-74. doi: 10.1097/CJI.0b013e3181fb045d.


Immune-mediated cancer regression requires tumor infiltration by antigen-specific effector T cells, but lymphocytes are commonly sparse in melanoma metastases. Activated T cells express CXCR3, whose cognate chemokines are CXCL9/MIG, CXCL10/IP-10, and CXCL11/I-TAC. Little is known about expression of these chemokines in lymph node (LN) metastases of melanoma. We evaluated whether metastatic melanoma induces these CXCR3-cognate chemokines in human LN-derived tissues. In addition, as these chemokines can be induced by interferon (IFN), we evaluated whether type I or II IFNs (IFN-α or IFN-γ, respectively) can modulate chemokine expression in an in vitro model of the human tumor microenvironment. Production of CXCL9-11 by melanoma-infiltrated nodes (MIN) was no different than tumor-free nodes; both produced less chemokine than activated LN (sentinel immunized nodes, SIN). These data suggest that melanoma infiltration into LN neither induces nor reduces CXCL9-11. Stimulation with IFN-α or IFN-γ increased production of CXCL10-11 from MIN, but not tumor-free node or SIN. IFN-γ also increased production of CXCL9 in MIN. In IFN-treated SIN, CD14+ cells were the primary source of CXCL9-11, whereas melanoma cells were the source of chemokine in MIN. Melanoma cells in MIN express IFN receptors. Consistent with these observations, multiple human melanoma lines expressed IFN receptors and produced CXCL9-11 in response to IFN treatment. Thus, melanoma infiltration of LN is insufficient to induce the production of CXCL9-11, but melanoma may be a significant source of IFN-induced chemokines. Collectively, these data suggest that IFN-α or IFN-γ may act in the tumor microenvironment to increase the chemotactic gradient for CXCR3+ T cells.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • Chemokine CXCL10 / genetics
  • Chemokine CXCL10 / immunology
  • Chemokine CXCL10 / metabolism*
  • Chemokine CXCL11 / genetics
  • Chemokine CXCL11 / metabolism*
  • Chemokine CXCL9 / genetics
  • Chemokine CXCL9 / immunology
  • Chemokine CXCL9 / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Interferon Type I / immunology
  • Interferon Type I / metabolism
  • Interferon-gamma / immunology
  • Interferon-gamma / metabolism
  • Lymph Nodes / immunology
  • Lymph Nodes / metabolism*
  • Lymph Nodes / pathology
  • Lymphatic Metastasis
  • Lymphocyte Activation
  • Melanoma
  • Receptors, CXCR3 / immunology
  • Receptors, CXCR3 / metabolism*
  • Skin Neoplasms
  • T-Lymphocytes
  • Tumor Microenvironment


  • CXCR3 protein, human
  • Chemokine CXCL10
  • Chemokine CXCL11
  • Chemokine CXCL9
  • Interferon Type I
  • Receptors, CXCR3
  • Interferon-gamma