Our previous work has shown that in multiple hematologic and solid malignancies, an increased presence of CD14+HLA-DRlo/neg cells in the peripheral blood are associated with systemic immune suppression and poor prognosis. We have also demonstrated that glioblastoma and non-Hodgkin lymphoma tumor cells can convert healthy donor CD14+ cells into CD14+HLA-DRlo/neg. Thus, a critical step toward the generation of these immune suppressive cells is the recruitment of CD14+ monocytes to the tumor. In this study we investigated the mechanism for monocyte recruitment by lung cancer cell lines, the effect these lines have on the monocytes, and the effect the monocytes have on the tumor. Monocyte recruitment by H23, a human lung adenocarcinoma cell line, was studied using freshly isolated CD14+ cells and measured in real time with live cell imaging. Monocytes from 10 of 10 unique healthy donors robustly migrated towards H23 supernatant in a dose dependent fashion. H23 produces CCL2 at levels of 9160 ± 1615 pg/mL measured by ELISA in addition to elaborating the monocyte recruitment factors CXCL1 and IL-8 seen by cytokine array. A 2 day co-culture of H23 with monocytes from 17 of 18 unique healthy volunteers resulted in downregulated monocyte cell surface expression of HLA-DR by 49.7% ± 22.1%, a phenotype known to mediate both local and systemic immune suppression. Most importantly, monocytes had a positive effect on H23 survival under stress conditions. H23 continuously exposed to cisplatin in culture had improved survival when co-cultured with monocytes for 2 days prior to cisplatin exposure. After 6 days of low serum growth conditions, H23 survival and proliferation was bolstered by the presence of monocytes in culture resulting in a 2 fold greater number of viable H23 cells compared to H23 cultured in low serum without monocytes. These experiments have been repeated and showed that 3 of 4 additional human lung cancer cell lines demonstrated improved survival in low serum growth conditions when co-cultured with monocytes. In conclusion, we have demonstrated the active recruitment of monocytes by lung cancer cell lines, the transformation of the monocytes to an immune suppressive phenotype and the monocyte cancer cross-talk that results in improved tumor survival when exposed to the likely in vivo conditions of a nutrient poor environment or chemotherapy. Taken together these results suggest that the recruitment of monocytes may confer additional survival benefit in the tumor microenvironment beyond local immune suppression and angiogenesis.
Citation Format: Erin Schenk, Allan Dietz. CD14+ monocyte recruitment, transformation and support of tumor survival in a lung cancer model. [abstract]. In: Proceedings of the CRI-CIMT-EATI-AACR Inaugural International Cancer Immunotherapy Conference: Translating Science into Survival; September 16-19, 2015; New York, NY. Philadelphia (PA): AACR; Cancer Immunol Res 2016;4(1 Suppl):Abstract nr A123.
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