M2-polarized tumor associated macrophages (TAM) play a critical role in cancer invasion and metastasis. Here, we report that M2 macrophages enhanced metastasis of K7M2 WT osteosarcoma cells to the lung in mice, thus establishing M2 TAMs as a therapeutic target for blocking osteosarcoma metastasis. We found that all-trans retinoic acid (ATRA) inhibited osteosarcoma metastasis via inhibiting the M2 polarization of TAMs. ATRA suppressed IL13 or IL4 induced M2-type macrophages, and then inhibited migration of osteosarcoma cells as promoted by M2-type macrophages in vitro. ATRA reduced the number of pulmonary metastatic nodes of osteosarcoma and decreased expression of M2-type macrophages in metastatic nodes both in intravenous injection and orthotopic transplantation models. ATRA's effect was independent of conventional STAT3/6 or C/EBPβ signaling, which regulate M2-like polarization of macrophages. Quantitative genomic and functional analyses revealed that MMP12, a macrophage-secreted elastase, was elevated in IL13-skewed TAM polarization, whereas ATRA treatment downregulated IL13-induced secretion of MMP12. This downregulation correlates with the antimetastasis effect of ATRA. Our results show the role of TAM polarization in osteosarcoma metastasis, identify a therapeutic opportunity for antimetastasis treatment, and indicate ATRA treatment as an approach for preventing osteosarcoma metastasis via M2 type polarization intervention.
- Received October 10, 2016.
- Revision received February 24, 2017.
- Accepted May 12, 2017.
- Copyright ©2017, American Association for Cancer Research.