Tumor-associated macrophages (TAMs) represent a major component of the tumor microenvironment supporting tumorigenesis. TAMs re-education has been proposed as a strategy to promote tumor inhibition. However, whether this approach may work in prostate cancer is unknown. Here we find that Pten-null prostate tumors are strongly infiltrated by TAMs expressing C-X-C chemokine receptor type 2 (CXCR2), and activation of this receptor through CXCL2 polarizes macrophages toward an anti-inflammatory phenotype. Notably, pharmacological blockade of CXCR2 receptor by a selective antagonist promoted the re-education of TAMs toward a pro-inflammatory phenotype. Strikingly, CXCR2 knockout monocytes infused in Ptenpc-/-; Trp53pc-/- mice differentiated in tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-α)-releasing pro-inflammatory macrophages, leading to senescence and tumor inhibition. Mechanistically, PTEN-deficient tumor cells are vulnerable to TNF-α-induced senescence, because of an increase of TNFR1. Our results identify TAMs as targets in prostate cancer and describe a therapeutic strategy based on CXCR2 blockade to harness anti-tumorigenic potential of macrophages against this disease.
Keywords: immune response to cancer; immunomodulation; prostate cancer; tumor associated macrophages; tumor immunology.
Copyright © 2019 The Author(s). Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.