Macrophage role in the anti-prostate cancer response to one class of antiangiogenic agents

Ingrid B.J.K. Joseph, John T. Isaacs

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

108 Scopus citations


Background. Tumor-associated macrophages (TAMs) can either promote angiogenesis (i.e., the formation of new blood vessels) in tumors by secreting tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α) or inhibit angiogenesis by producing granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor (GM-CSF), which in turn stimulates production of the antiangiogenic protein plasminogen activator inhibitor type 2 (PAI-2). We tested, alone or in combination, the anti-prostate cancer activity of agents that perturb macrophage function. Methods: By use of enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays, we measured the effects of Linomide® (roquinimex), thalidomide, pentoxifylline, and genistein on TNF-α and GM-CSF production in vitro by virally transformed RAW 264.7 mouse macrophages and on PAI-2 production in vitro by human macrophages. The antitumor effects of these agents were tested in vivo on transplanted Dunning R-3327 MAT-Lu rat prostate cancers; TAM numbers and blood vessel densities in these cancers were determined by use of immunocytochemistry. Results: Linomide selectively inhibited mouse macrophage secretion of TNF-α but not of GM-CSF; however, thalidomide, pentoxifylline, and genistein inhibited the production of both cytokines. Linomide, but not thalidomide or pentoxifylline, increased production of PAI-2 by human macrophages. When administered to rats bearing MAT-Lu tumors, each of the tested agents reduced TAM numbers (Linomide, by 46%; thalidomide, by 94%; pentoxifylline, by 71%; and genistein, by 96%). However, all of the agents reduced tumor blood vessel density and tumor growth, with Linomide being the most effective (44% reduction in blood vessel density and 69 % inhibition of tumor growth). None of the other agents potentiated Linomide's antitumor effect. Conclusions: Linomide is unique among the antiangiogenic agents tested, in that it inhibits the stimulatory effects of TAMs on tumor angiogenesis without eliminating their antiangiogenic effects, and may thus prove to be more effective against prostate cancer.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1648-1653
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of the National Cancer Institute
Issue number21
StatePublished - Nov 4 1998

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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