The role IL-1 in tumor-mediated angiogenesis

Front Physiol. 2014 Mar 28;5:114. doi: 10.3389/fphys.2014.00114. eCollection 2014.


Tumor angiogenesis is one of the hallmarks of tumor progression and is essential for invasiveness and metastasis. Myeloid inflammatory cells, such as immature myeloid precursor cells, also termed myeloid-derived suppressor cells (MDSCs), neutrophils, and monocytes/macrophages, are recruited to the tumor microenvironment by factors released by the malignant cells that are subsequently "educated" in situ to acquire a pro-invasive, pro-angiogenic, and immunosuppressive phenotype. The proximity of myeloid cells to endothelial cells (ECs) lining blood vessels suggests that they play an important role in the angiogenic response, possibly by secreting a network of cytokines/chemokines and inflammatory mediators, as well as via activation of ECs for proliferation and secretion of pro-angiogenic factors. Interleukin-1 (IL-1) is an "alarm," upstream, pro-inflammatory cytokine that is generated primarily by myeloid cells. IL-1 initiates and propagates inflammation, mainly by inducing a local cytokine network and enhancing inflammatory cell infiltration to affected sites and by augmenting adhesion molecule expression on ECs and leukocytes. Pro-inflammatory mediators were recently shown to play an important role in tumor-mediated angiogenesis and blocking their function may suppress tumor progression. In this review, we summarize the interactions between IL-1 and other pro-angiogenic factors during normal and pathological conditions. In addition, the feasibility of IL-1 neutralization approaches for anti-cancer therapy is discussed.

Keywords: IL-1α; IL-1β; VEGF; VEGFR1; VEGFR2; angiogenesis; inflammation; myeloid cells.

Publication types

  • Review