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J Clin Invest. 1995 May;95(5):2391-6.

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

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  • 1Biological Therapies Laboratory, Imperial Cancer Research Fund, London, United Kingdom.


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.

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