Crosstalk between colon cancer cells and macrophages via inflammatory mediators and CD47 promotes tumour cell migration.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Tumour-associated macrophages (TAMs) of the M2 phenotype are present in the stroma of many tumours and are frequently associated with the progression of several types of cancer. We investigated the role of M2 macrophages in colon cancer progression and found that human colon cancer tissue had elevated numbers of CD68(+) (macrophage marker) cells and CD206(+) (M2 macrophage marker) cells and increased CD47 expression. To explore potential interplay between colon cancer cells and M2 macrophages, we differentiated the monocyte cell line THP-1 into M1 and M2 macrophages (CD206(high) and Th2 cytokine-secreting cells), respectively. M2 macrophages migrated faster than M1 macrophages towards SW480-conditioned medium. Similarly, M2 macrophage-conditioned medium induced SW480 cell migration and CD47 expression. Factors released by macrophages were involved in this induction. In addition, SW480 cells migrated faster when co-cultured with M2 macrophages. Inhibition of CD47 with blocking antibodies or siRNA significantly reduced the migration of SW480 cells in the presence of M2 macrophages. This effect was further decreased via blocking antibodies against the CD47 ligand signal-regulatory protein α (SIRPα). Additionally, cancer cells also secreted significant levels of IL-10, thereby promoting M2 macrophage differentiation. These findings indicate that a TAM-enriched tumour microenvironment promotes colon cancer cell migration and metastasis.


Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Cancer and Oncology
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3320-3334
JournalEuropean Journal of Cancer
Issue number15
Publication statusPublished - 2013
Publication categoryResearch

Related research output

Zhang, Y., 2013, Cell Pathology. 104 p.

Research output: ThesisDoctoral Thesis (compilation)

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