, Volume 93, Issue 5, pp 518-527

Monocyte chemoattractant protein-1 expression and macrophage infiltration in gliomas

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While the number of reports on macrophage infiltration of gliomas is increasing, the extent and mechanisms of macrophage recruitment remain unclear. To investigate whether monocyte chemoattractant protein-1 (MCP-1) plays a role in this process, in situ hybridisation (ISH) was performed for 22 glioblastomas (GBM), 1 anaplastic astrocytoma (AA) and 4 grade II fibrillary astrocytomas (AII) and reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction was performed in 13 GBM, 1 AA and 3 AII. High levels of MCP-1 mRNA were detectable in most GBM, while a lower level was detected in AII. Many tumour-associated macrophages (TAM) could be demonstrated by immunohistochemistry (IHC) in most GBM, while the AII contained a lower number of TAM. The positive correlation between the MCP-1 level and abundance of TAM suggested that MCP-1 has a role in TAM recruitment. By combining ISH and IHC, high levels of MCP-1 mRNA were shown both in tumour cells and TAM. Along tumour borders, reactive astrocytes and microglia also expressed MCP-1. In areas with T lymphocyte infiltration, larger numbers of MCP-1-positive cells with an enhanced level of expression could be identified. We propose that the mechanism of macrophage recruitment is, at least partly, effected by constitutive expression and T cell-mediated up-regulation of MCP-1 in tumour cells and TAM. The production of MCP-1 by TAM establishes a positive amplification circuit for macrophage recruitment in gliomas.

Received: 20 May 1996 / Revised: 9 October 1996 / Accepted: 27 November 1996