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Macrophage-Mediated Lymphangiogenesis: The Emerging Role of Macrophages as Lymphatic Endothelial Progenitors
Department of Medical Microbiology, Immunology and Cell Biology, Southern Illinois University School of Medicine, 801 N. Rutledge, Springfield, IL 62794, USA
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 2 May 2012; in revised form: 15 June 2012 / Accepted: 20 June 2012 / Published: 27 June 2012
Abstract: It is widely accepted that macrophages and other inflammatory cells support tumor progression and metastasis. During early stages of neoplastic development, tumor-infiltrating macrophages (TAMs) mount an immune response against transformed cells. Frequently, however, cancer cells escape the immune surveillance, an event that is accompanied by macrophage transition from an anti-tumor to a pro-tumorigenic type. The latter is characterized by high expression of factors that activate endothelial cells, suppress immune response, degrade extracellular matrix, and promote tumor growth. Cumulatively, these products of TAMs promote tumor expansion and growth of both blood and lymphatic vessels that facilitate metastatic spread. Breast cancers and other epithelial malignancies induce the formation of new lymphatic vessels (i.e., lymphangiogenesis) that leads to lymphatic and subsequently, to distant metastasis. Both experimental and clinical studies have shown that TAMs significantly promote tumor lymphangiogenesis through paracrine and cell autonomous modes. The paracrine effect consists of the expression of a variety of pro-lymphangiogenic factors that activate the preexisting lymphatic vessels. The evidence for cell-autonomous contribution is based on the observed tumor mobilization of macrophage-derived lymphatic endothelial cell progenitors (M-LECP) that integrate into lymphatic vessels prior to sprouting. This review will summarize the current knowledge of macrophage-dependent growth of new lymphatic vessels with specific emphasis on an emerging role of macrophages as lymphatic endothelial cell progenitors (M-LECP).
Keywords: lymphatic endothelial cell progenitors; tumor associated macrophages; lymphangiogenesis; lymphvasculogenesis; lymphatic metastasis
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Cite This Article
MDPI and ACS Style
Ran, S.; Montgomery, K.E. Macrophage-Mediated Lymphangiogenesis: The Emerging Role of Macrophages as Lymphatic Endothelial Progenitors. Cancers 2012, 4, 618-657.
Ran S, Montgomery KE. Macrophage-Mediated Lymphangiogenesis: The Emerging Role of Macrophages as Lymphatic Endothelial Progenitors. Cancers. 2012; 4(3):618-657.
Ran, Sophia; Montgomery, Kyle E. 2012. "Macrophage-Mediated Lymphangiogenesis: The Emerging Role of Macrophages as Lymphatic Endothelial Progenitors." Cancers 4, no. 3: 618-657.