Background: Monocytes are involved in tumor growth and metastasis, but the distribution of monocyte phenotypes and their role in the development of malignant pleural effusion (MPE) remains unknown.
Methods: A total of 94 MPE patients (76 diagnosed with adenocarcinoma lung cancer and 18 with squamous cell lung cancer) and 102 volunteers for health examination in Xiangya Hospital from December 2016 to December 2019 were included in the study.
Results: The distribution of monocyte subtypes identified by the expression of CD14 and CD16 were analyzed by flow cytometry. The proportion of CD14++ CD16+ intermediate monocytes were significantly increased in pleural effusion of MPE patients. The complement system components were assayed by immunohistochemistry and ELISA, and higher expression of the classical and alternative pathways were detected in malignant pleural tissue. Transwell assay further revealed that C5a enhanced the infiltration of intermediate monocytes into the pleural cavity by promoting CCL2 production in pleural mesothelial cells (PMCs). In addition, C5a promoted the secretion of IL-1β by intermediate monocytes. Furthermore, C5a activated in intermediate monocytes and IL-1β released after C5a stimulation by monocytes promoted the proliferation, migration, adhesion, and epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT) of tumor cells, and attenuated tumor cell apoptosis.
Conclusions: C5a, activated by the classical and alternative pathways of the complement system, not only mediated the infiltration of intermediate monocytes by enhancing CCL2 production in PMCs but also induced IL-1β release from the recruited monocytes in MPE. The consequence of C5a activation and the subsequent IL-1β overexpression in intermediate monocytes contributed to MPE progression.
Keywords: A549; C5a; IL-1β; malignant pleural effusion; monocytes.
© 2022 The Authors. Thoracic Cancer published by China Lung Oncology Group and John Wiley & Sons Australia, Ltd.