Purpose: Elevated numbers of tumor-associated macrophages (TAM) in the tumor microenvironment are often correlated with poor prognosis in melanoma. However, the mechanisms by which TAMs modulate melanoma growth are still poorly understood. This study was aimed at examining the function and mechanism of TAM-derived adrenomedullin (ADM) in angiogenesis and melanoma growth. Experimental Design: We established in vitro and in vivo models to investigate the relationship between TAMs and ADM in melanoma, the role and mechanism of ADM in TAM-induced angiogenesis and melanoma growth. The clinical significance of ADM and its receptors was evaluated using melanoma tissue microarrays. Results: ADM was expressed by infiltrating TAMs in human melanoma, and its secretion from macrophages was upregulated upon coculture with melanoma cells, or with melanoma cells conditioned media. Meanwhile, TAMs enhanced endothelial cell migration and tubule formation and also increased B16/F10 tumor growth. Neutralizing ADM antibody and ADM receptor antagonist, AMA, attenuated TAM-induced angiogenesis in vitro and melanoma growth in vivo, respectively. Furthermore, ADM promoted angiogenesis and melanoma growth via both the paracrine effect, mediated by the endothelial nitric oxide synthase signaling pathway, and the autocrine effect, which stimulated the polarization of macrophages toward an alternatively activated (M2) phenotype. Finally, immunofluorescence analysis on human melanomas showed that the expression of ADM in TAMs and its receptors was greatly increased compared with adjacent normal skins. Conclusion: Our study reveals a novel mechanism that TAMs enhance angiogenesis and melanoma growth via ADM and provides potential targets for melanoma therapies.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cancer Research