5 years ago

Interleukin 6 induces M2 macrophage differentiation by STAT3 activation that correlates with gastric cancer progression

Yi-Ping Lv, Yuan Zhuang, Wei Duan, Yong-Liang Zhao, Pei-Wu Yu, Chong-Yu Su, Xiao-Long Fu, Yong-Sheng Teng, Fang-Yuan Mao


Interleukin 6 (IL-6) was abundant in the tumor microenvironment and played potential roles in tumor progression. In our study, the expression of IL-6 in tumor tissues from 36 gastric cancer (GC) patients was significantly higher than in non-tumor tissues. Moreover, the number of CD163+CD206+ M2 macrophages that infiltrated in tumor tissues was significantly greater than those infiltrated in non-tumor tissues. The frequencies of M2 macrophages were positively correlated with the IL-6 expression in GC tumors. We also found that IL-6 could induce normal macrophages to differentiate into M2 macrophages with higher IL-10 and TGF-β expression, and lower IL-12 expression, via activating STAT3 phosphorylation. Accordingly, knocking down STAT3 using small interfering RNA decreased the expression of M2 macrophages-related cytokines (IL-10 and TGF-β). Furthermore, supernatants from IL-6-induced M2 macrophages promote GC cell proliferation and migration. Moreover, IL-6 production and CD163+CD206+ M2 macrophage infiltration in tumors were associated with disease progression and reduced GC patient survival. In conclusion, our data indicate that IL-6 induces M2 macrophage differentiation (IL-10highTGF-βhighIL-12 p35 low ) by activating STAT3 phosphorylation, and the IL-6-induced M2 macrophages exert a pro-tumor function by promoting GC cell proliferation and migration.

Publisher URL: https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s00262-017-2052-5

DOI: 10.1007/s00262-017-2052-5

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