Cancer and Inflammation : Role of Macrophages and Monocytes

Abstract: Macrophages are cells of the innate immune system that can be found in large quantities in cancer tumors and affect cancer progression by regulating growth and invasiveness of cancer cells. There are two main phenotypes of macrophages denoted M1 and M2. In this thesis, the M1 and M2 phenotype of human macrophages were characterized, and effects of the macrophages on the growth and invasiveness of colon and lung cancer cells were studied.Macrophages of the M1 phenotype, but not the M2 phenotype, inhibited growth of both colon and lung cancer cells, and the inhibition for some of the cancer cell lines was induced by cell cycle arrest in the G1/G0 and/or G2/M cell cycle phases. In the colon cancer cell line, the macrophage induced cell cycle arrest was found to attenuate the cytotoxic effect of the chemotherapeutic drug 5-FU. Macrophages were also shown to express high levels of proteases (matrix metalloproteinase-2 and 9) and high levels of proteins of the urokinase-type plasminogen activator (uPA) system, in comparison to the lung cancer cell lines studied. Expression of these has been found to predict poor outcome in lung cancer, and the results suggest macrophages to be important contributors of these in lung tumors. Furthermore, the M1 phenotype was found to express higher levels of the uPA receptor than the M2 phenotype.Prostaglandin E2 (PGE2) is a potent inflammatory molecule expressed by e.g. macrophages and monocytes, and inhibition of its expression has been shown to reduce the risk of colon cancer. Green tea and black tea was found to be potent inhibitors of PGE2 formation in human monocytes, and the inhibitory effects of green tea was likely due to its content of the polyphenol epigallocatechin gallate. Rooibos tea also inhibited PGE2 formation, but was less potent than green and black tea. The primary mechanism for the inhibition was via inhibition of expression of enzymes in the PGE2 formation pathway, and primarily microsomal prostaglandin synthase-1.

  This dissertation MIGHT be available in PDF-format. Check this page to see if it is available for download.