bims-stacyt Biomed News
on Paracrine crosstalk between cancer and the organism
Issue of 2019‒12‒08
one paper selected by
Cristina Muñoz Pinedo
L’Institut d’Investigació Biomèdica de Bellvitge


  1. Oncol Lett. 2019 Dec;18(6): 5871-5878
    Ke X, Chen C, Song Y, Cai Q, Li J, Tang Y, Han X, Qu W, Chen A, Wang H, Xu G, Liu D.
      Macrophages are a heterogeneous group of phagocytes that play critical roles in inflammation, infection and tumor growth. Macrophages respond to different environmental factors and are thereby polarized into specialized functional subsets. Although hypoxia is an important environmental factor, its impact on human macrophage polarization and subsequent modification of the inflammatory microenvironment have not been fully established. The present study aimed to elucidate the effect of hypoxia exposure on the ability of human macrophages to polarize into the classically activated (pro-inflammatory) M1, and the alternatively activated (anti-inflammatory) M2 phenotypes. The effect on the inflammatory microenvironment and the subsequent modification of A549 lung carcinoma cells was also investigated. The presented data show that hypoxia promoted macrophage polarization towards the M2 phenotype, and modified the inflammatory microenvironment by decreasing the release of proinflammatory cytokines. Modification of the microenvironment by proinflammatory M1 macrophages under hypoxia reversed the inhibition of malignant behaviors within the proinflammatory microenvironment. Furthermore, it was identified p38 signaling (a major contributor to the response to reactive oxygen species generated by hypoxic stress), but not hypoxia-induced factor, as a key regulator of macrophages under hypoxia. Taken together, the data suggest that hypoxia affects the inflammatory microenvironment by modifying the polarization of macrophages, and thus, reversing the inhibitory effects of a proinflammatory microenvironment on the malignant behaviors of several types of cancer cell.
    Keywords:  hypoxia; hypoxia-induced factor-1α; macrophage; malignant behavior; p38
    DOI:  https://doi.org/10.3892/ol.2019.10956