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Tumor-associated macrophages (TAM) may have tumor-promoting activity, but it is not clear how their phenotype is achieved. In this study, we demonstrate that ovarian cancer cells switch cocultured macrophages to a phenotype similar to that found in ovarian tumors. Tumor cells caused dynamic changes in macrophage cytokine, chemokine, and matrix metalloprotease mRNA, and protein-inducing mediators that are found in human cancer. Macrophage mannose, mannose receptor, and scavenger receptors (SR-As) were also up-regulated, by coculture, but not by conditioned medium. To further validate the model, we studied SR-A regulation on TAM in vitro and in vivo. Coculture of murine macrophages from mice deficient in TNF-α or its receptors revealed that TNF-α was key to SR-A induction via its p75 receptor. SR-A expression was also reduced in TAM from ovarian cancers treated with anti-TNF-α Abs or grown in TNF-α-/- mice. Chemical communication between tumor cells and macrophages may be important in regulating the cancer cytokine microenvironment. Copyright © 2006 by The American Association of Immunologists, Inc.

Original publication




Journal article


Journal of Immunology

Publication Date





5023 - 5032