Mesenchymal stromal cells (MSCs) tend to infiltrate into tumors and form a major component of the tumor microenvironment. These tumor-resident MSCs are known to affect tumor growth, but the mechanisms are largely unknown. We found that MSCs isolated from spontaneous lymphomas in mouse (L-MSCs) strikingly enhanced tumor growth in comparison to bone marrow MSCs (BM-MSCs). L-MSCs contributed to greater recruitment of CD11b(+)Ly6C(+) monocytes, F4/80(+) macrophages, and CD11b(+)Ly6G(+) neutrophils to the tumor. Depletion of monocytes/macrophages, but not neutrophils, completely abolished tumor promotion of L-MSCs. Furthermore, L-MSCs expressed high levels of CCR2 ligands, and monocyte/macrophage accumulation and L-MSC-mediated tumor promotion were largely abolished in CCR2(-/-) mice. Intriguingly, TNFα-pretreated BM-MSCs mimicked L-MSCs in their chemokine production profile and ability to promote tumorigenesis of lymphoma, melanoma, and breast carcinoma. Therefore, our findings demonstrate that, in an inflammatory environment, tumor-resident MSCs promote tumor growth by recruiting monocytes/macrophages.
Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.