Intratumoural haematopoietic stem and progenitor cell differentiation into M2 macrophages facilitates the regrowth of solid tumours after radiation therapy.

Tyler M Parsons
Katie L. Buelow, Beaumont Health
Alaa Hanna, Beaumont Health
Marisa A Brake
Crystal Poma
Sarah E Hosch
Randal J Westrick
Luis G Villa-Diaz
George D. Wilson, Beaumont Health
Gerard J Madlambayan


BACKGROUND: Bone-marrow-derived haematopoietic stem and progenitor cells (HSPCs) are a prominent part of the highly complex tumour microenvironment (TME) where they localise within tumours and maintain haematopoietic potency. Understanding the role HSPCs play in tumour growth and response to radiation therapy (RT) may lead to improved patient treatments and outcomes.

METHODS: We used a mouse model of non-small cell lung carcinoma where tumours were exposed to RT regimens alone or in combination with GW2580, a pharmacological inhibitor of colony stimulating factor (CSF)-1 receptor. RT-PCR, western blotting and immunohistochemistry were used to quantify expression levels of factors that affect HSPC differentiation. DsRed

RESULTS: We demonstrated that CSF-1 is enhanced in the TME following exposure to RT. CSF-1 signaling induced intratumoural HSPC differentiation into M2 polarised tumour-associated macrophages (TAMs), aiding in post-RT tumour survival and regrowth. In contrast, hyperfractionated/pulsed radiation therapy (PRT) and GW2580 ablated this process resulting in improved tumour killing and mouse survival.

CONCLUSIONS: Tumours coopt intratumoural HSPC fate determination via CSF-1 signaling to overcome the effects of RT. Thus, limiting intratumoural HSPC activity represents an attractive strategy for improving the clinical treatment of solid tumours.