Inhibition of Anti-Inflammatory Macrophage Phenotype Reduces Tumour Growth in Mouse Models of Brain Metastasis
Economopoulos V., Pannell M., Johanssen VA., Scott H., Andreou KE., Larkin JR., Sibson NR.
Breast cancer brain metastasis is a significant clinical problem and carries a poor prognosis. Although it is well-established that macrophages are a primary component of the brain metastasis microenvironment, the role of blood-derived macrophages (BDM) and brain-resident microglia in the progression of brain metastases remains uncertain. The aim of this study, therefore, was to determine the role, specifically, of pro- and anti-inflammatory BDM and microglial phenotypes on metastasis progression. Initial in vitro studies demonstrated decreased migration of EO771 metastatic breast cancer cells in the presence of pro-inflammatory, but not anti-inflammatory, stimulated RAW 264.7 macrophages. In vivo, suppression of the anti-inflammatory BDM phenotype, specifically, via myeloid knock out of Krüppel-like Factor 4 (KLF4) significantly reduced EO771 tumour growth in the brains of C57BL/6 mice. Further, pharmacological inhibition of the anti-inflammatory BDM and/or microglial phenotypes, via either Colony Stimulating Factor 1 Receptor (CSF-1R) or STAT6 pathways, significantly decreased tumour burden in two different syngeneic mouse models of breast cancer brain metastasis. These findings suggest that switching BDM and microglia towards a more pro-inflammatory phenotype may be an effective therapeutic strategy in brain metastasis.