The detection and localization of monocyte chemoattractant protein-1 (MCP-1) in human ovarian cancer

J Clin Invest. 1995 May;95(5):2391-6. doi: 10.1172/JCI117933.


Chemokines may control the macrophage infiltrate found in many solid tumors. In human ovarian cancer, in situ hybridization detected mRNA for the macrophage chemokine monocyte chemoattractant protein-1 (MCP-1) in 16/17 serous carcinomas, 4/4 mucinous carcinomas, 2/2 endometrioid carcinomas, and 1/3 borderline tumors. In serous tumors, mRNA expression mainly localized to the epithelial areas, as did immunoreactive MCP-1 protein. In the other tumors, both stromal and epithelial expression were seen. All tumors contained variable numbers of cells positive for the macrophage marker CD68. MCP-1 mRNA was also detected in the stroma of 5/5 normal ovaries. RT-PCR demonstrated mRNA for MCP-1 in 7/7 serous carcinomas and 6/6 ovarian cancer cell lines. MCP-1 protein was detected by ELISA in ascites from patients with ovarian cancer (mean 4.28 ng/ml) and was produced primarily by the cancer cells. Human MCP-1 protein was also detected in culture supernatants from cell lines and in ascites from human ovarian tumor xenografts which induce a peritoneal monocytosis in nude mice. We conclude that the macrophage chemoattractant MCP-1 is produced by epithelial ovarian cancer and that the tumor cells themselves are probably a major source. MCP-1 may contribute to the accumulation of tumor-associated macrophages, which may subsequently influence tumor behavior.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adenocarcinoma / metabolism*
  • Adenocarcinoma / pathology*
  • Animals
  • Ascites
  • Base Sequence
  • Cell Line
  • Chemokine CCL2
  • Chemotactic Factors / analysis*
  • Chemotactic Factors / biosynthesis*
  • Cystadenocarcinoma, Serous / metabolism
  • Cystadenocarcinoma, Serous / pathology
  • Cytokines / analysis*
  • DNA Primers
  • Endometrial Neoplasms / metabolism
  • Endometrial Neoplasms / pathology
  • Epithelium / metabolism
  • Epithelium / pathology
  • Female
  • Gene Expression
  • Humans
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • In Situ Hybridization
  • Macrophages / pathology
  • Mice
  • Mice, Nude
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Ovarian Neoplasms / metabolism*
  • Ovarian Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Ovary / cytology
  • Ovary / metabolism
  • Ovary / pathology
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • RNA, Messenger / biosynthesis
  • Transplantation, Heterologous


  • Chemokine CCL2
  • Chemotactic Factors
  • Cytokines
  • DNA Primers
  • RNA, Messenger