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Blood. 2007 Dec 15;110(13):4319-30. Epub 2007 Sep 11.

Tumor-associated leukemia inhibitory factor and IL-6 skew monocyte differentiation into tumor-associated macrophage-like cells.

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Inserm, U564, Equipe Avenir, Angers, France.


Tumor-associated macrophages (TAMs), the most abundant immunosuppressive cells in the tumor microenvironment, originate from blood monocytes and exhibit an IL-10(high)IL-12(low) M2 profile. The factors involved in TAM generation remain unidentified. We identify here leukemia inhibitory factor (LIF) and IL-6 as tumor microenvironmental factors that can promote TAM generation. Ovarian cancer ascites switched monocyte differentiation into TAM-like cells that exhibit most ovarian TAM functional and phenotypic characteristics. Ovarian cancer ascites contained high concentrations of LIF and IL-6. Recombinant LIF and IL-6 skew monocyte differentiation into TAM-like cells by enabling monocytes to consume monocyte-colony-stimulating factor (M-CSF). Depletion of LIF, IL-6, and M-CSF in ovarian cancer ascites suppressed TAM-like cell induction. We extended these observations to different tumor-cell line supernatants. In addition to revealing a new tumor-escape mechanism associated with TAM generation via LIF and IL-6, these findings offer novel therapeutic perspectives to subvert TAM-induced immunosuppression and hence improve T-cell-based antitumor immunotherapy efficacy.

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