Progress has been made in several of the aims of the project: The proinflammatory myeloid cell receptor TREM-1 controls Kupffer cell activation and development of hepatocellular carcinoma(Cancer Res. 2012;72:3977-86). Chronic inflammation drives liver cancer pathogenesis, invasion, and metastasis. Liver Kupffer cells have crucial roles in mediating the inflammatory processes that promote liver cancer, but the mechanistic basis for their contributions are not fully understood. Here we show that expression of the proinflammatory myeloid cell surface receptor TREM-1 expressed by Kupffer cells is a crucial factor in the development and progression of liver cancer. Deletion of the murine homolog Trem1 in mice attenuated hepatocellular carcinogenesis triggered by diethylnitrosamine (DEN). Trem1 deficiency attenuated Kupffer cell activation by downregulating transcription and protein expression of interleukin (IL)-6, IL-1beta, TNF, CCL2, and CXCL10. In addition, Trem1 ablation diminished activation of the p38, extracellular regulated kinase 1/2, JNK, mitogen-activated protein kinase, and NF-kB signaling pathways in Kupffer cells, resulting in diminished liver injury after DEN exposure. Adoptive transfer of wild-type Kupffer cells to Trem1-deficient mice complemented these defects and reversed unresponsiveness to DEN-induced liver injury and malignant development. Together, our findings offer causal evidence that TREM-1 is a pivotal determinant of Kupffer cell activation in liver carcinogenesis, deepening mechanistic insights into how chronic inflammation underpins the development and progression of liver cancer. NK cell-derived interferon-gamma orchestrates cellular dynamics and the differentiation of monocytes into dendritic cells at the site of infection Innate resistance and pro-inflammatory cytokines in carcinogenesis (Immunity. 2012;36:1047-59). Dendritic cells (DCs), monocyte and/or macrophages initiate host-protective immune responses to intracellular pathogens in part through interleukin-12 (IL-12) production, although the relative contribution of tissue resident versus recruited cells has been unclear. Here we showed that after intraperitoneal infection with Toxoplasma gondii cysts, resident mononuclear phagocytes are replaced by circulating monocytes that differentiate in situ into inflammatory DCs (moDCs) and F4/80+ macrophages. Importantly, NK cell-derived interferon-gamma (IFN-gamma) was required for both the loss of resident mononuclear phagocytes and the local differentiation of monocytes into macrophages and moDCs. This newly generated moDC population and not the resident DCs (or macrophages) served as the major source of IL-12 at the site of infection. Thus, NK cell-derived IFN-gamma is important in both regulating inflammatory cell dynamics and in driving the local differentiation of monocytes into the cells required for initiating the immune response to an important intracellular pathogen. A very extensive investigation has been initiated to study the role of inflammatory receptors and cytokines in skin and colon chemical carcinogenesis. Signaling through the adaptor protein MyD88 promotes carcinogenesis in several cancer models. In contrast, MyD88 signaling has a protective role in the development of azoxymethane (AOM)/ dextran sodium sulfate (DSS) colitis-associated cancer (CAC). The inability of Myd88-/- mice to heal ulcers generated upon injury creates an altered inflammatory environment that induces early alterations in expression of genes encoding pro-inflammatory factors as well as pathways regulating cell proliferation, apoptosis, and DNA repair resulting in a dramatic increase in adenoma formation and progression to infiltrating adenocarcinomas with frequent clonal mutations in the beta-catenin gene. This study revealed a previously unknown level of complexity surrounding MyD88 activities downstream of different receptors that impact tissue homeostasis and carcinogenesis. IL-1R-MyD88 signaling in keratinocyte transformation and carcinogenesis (J Exp Med. 2012;209:1689-702 ). Constitutively active RAS plays a central role in the development of human cancer and is sufficient to induce tumors in two-stage skin carcinogenesis. RAS-mediated tumor formation is commonly associated with up-regulation of cytokines and chemokines that mediate an inflammatory response considered relevant to oncogenesis. In this study, we report that mice lacking IL-1R or MyD88 are less sensitive to topical skin carcinogenesis than their respective wild-type (WT) controls. MyD88(-/-) or IL-1R(-/-) keratinocytes expressing oncogenic RAS are hyperproliferative and fail to up-regulate proinflammatory genes or down-regulate differentiation markers characteristic of RAS-expressing WT keratinocytes. Although RAS-expressing MyD88(-/-) keratinocytes form only a few small tumors in orthotopic grafts, IL-1R-deficient RAS-expressing keratinocytes retain the ability to form tumors in orthotopic grafts. Using both genetic and pharmacological approaches, we find that the differentiation and proinflammatory effects of oncogenic RAS in keratinocytes require the establishment of an autocrine loop through IL-1alpha, IL-1R, and MyD88 leading to phosphorylation of IkBalpha and NF-kB activation. Blocking IL-1alpha-mediated NF-kB activation in RAS-expressing WT keratinocytes reverses the differentiation defect and inhibits proinflammatory gene expression. Collectively, these results demonstrate that MyD88 exerts a cell-intrinsic function in RAS-mediated transformation of keratinocytes. Adenoma-linked barrier defects and microbial products drive IL-23/IL-17-mediated tumour growth (Nature. 2012;491:254-8). Approximately 2% of colorectal cancer is linked to pre-existing inflammation known as colitis-associated cancer, but most develops in patients without underlying inflammatory bowel disease. Colorectal cancer often follows a genetic pathway whereby loss of the adenomatous polyposis coli (APC) tumour suppressor and activation of beta-catenin are followed by mutations in K-Ras, PIK3CA and TP53, as the tumour emerges and progresses. Curiously, however, 'inflammatory signature'genes characteristic of colitis-associated cancer are also upregulated in colorectal cancer. Further, like most solid tumours, colorectal cancer exhibits immune/inflammatory infiltrates, referred to as 'tumour-elicited inflammation'. Although infiltrating CD4(+) T(H)1 cells and CD8(+) cytotoxic T cells constitute a positive prognostic sign in colorectal cancer, myeloid cells and T-helper interleukin (IL)-17-producing (T(H)17) cells promote tumorigenesis, and a 'T(H)17 expression signature'in stage I/II colorectal cancer is associated with a drastic decrease in disease-free survival. Despite its pathogenic importance, the mechanisms responsible for the appearance of tumour-elicited inflammation are poorly understood. Many epithelial cancers develop proximally to microbial communities, which are physically separated from immune cells by an epithelial barrier. We investigated mechanisms responsible for tumour-elicited inflammation in a mouse model of colorectal tumorigenesis, which, like human colorectal cancer, exhibits upregulation of IL-23 and IL-17. Here we show that IL-23 signalling promotes tumour growth and progression, and development of a tumoural IL-17 response. IL-23 is mainly produced by tumour-associated myeloid cells that are likely to be activated by microbial products, which penetrate the tumours but not adjacent tissue. Both early and late colorectal neoplasms exhibit defective expression of several barrier proteins. We propose that barrier deterioration induced by colorectal-cancer-initiating genetic lesions results in adenoma invasion by microbial products that trigger tumour-elicited inflammation, which in turn drives tumour growth.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Cancer Institute (NCI)
Investigator-Initiated Intramural Research Projects (ZIA)
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