Evidence links chronic inflammation with cancer, but cellular mechanisms involved in this process remain unclear. We have demonstrated that in humans, inflammatory conditions that predispose to development of skin and colon tumors are associated with accumulation in tissues of CD33+S100A9+ cells, the phenotype typical for myeloid-derived suppressor cells in cancer or immature myeloid cells (IMCs) in tumor-free hosts. To identify the direct role of these cells in tumor development, we used S100A9 transgenic mice to create the conditions for topical accumulation of these cells in the skin in the absence of infection or tissue damage. These mice demonstrated accumulation of granulocytic IMCs in the skin upon topical application of 12-O-tetradecanoylphorbol-13-acetate (TPA), resulting in a dramatic increase in the formation of papillomas during epidermal carcinogenesis. The effect of IMCs on tumorigenesis was not associated with immune suppression, but with CCL4 (chemokine [C-C motif] ligand 4)-mediated recruitment of IL-17-producing CD4+ T cells. This chemokine was released by activated IMCs. Elimination of CD4+ T cells or blockade of CCL4 or IL-17 abrogated the increase in tumor formation caused by myeloid cells. Thus, this study implicates accumulation of IMCs as an initial step in facilitation of tumor formation, followed by the recruitment of CD4+ T cells.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Immunology and Allergy