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CCL2-induced chemokine cascade promotes breast cancer metastasis by enhancing retention of metastasis-associated macrophages

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1043-1059
JournalJournal of Experimental Medicine
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 8 Jun 2015


Pulmonary metastasis of breast cancer cells is promoted by a distinct population of macrophages, metastasis-associated macrophages (MAMs), which originate from inflammatory monocytes (IMs) recruited by the CC-chemokine ligand 2 (CCL2). We demonstrate here that, through activation of the CCL2 receptor CCR2, the recruited MAMs secrete another chemokine ligand CCL3. Genetic deletion of CCL3 or its receptor CCR1 in macrophages reduces the number of lung metastasis foci, as well as the number of MAMs accumulated in tumor-challenged lung in mice. Adoptive transfer of WT IMs increases the reduced number of lung metastasis foci in Ccl3 deficient mice. Mechanistically, Ccr1 deficiency prevents MAM retention in the lung by reducing MAM-cancer cell interactions. These findings collectively indicate that the CCL2-triggered chemokine cascade in macrophages promotes metastatic seeding of breast cancer cells thereby amplifying the pathology already extant in the system. These data suggest that inhibition of CCR1, the distal part of this signaling relay, may have a therapeutic impact in metastatic disease with lower toxicity than blocking upstream targets.

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