Plasmodium infection inhibits tumor angiogenesis through effects on tumor-associated macrophages in a murine implanted hepatoma model
Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is one of the leading causes of cancer-related death in China. The lack of an effective treatment for this disease results in a high recurrence rate in patients who undergo radical tumor resection, and the 5-year survival rate of these patients remains low. Our previous studies demonstrated that Plasmodium infection provides a potent antitumor effect by inducing innate and adaptive immunity in a murine Lewis lung carcinoma (LLC) model. Methods : This study aimed
... This study aimed to investigate the inhibitory effect of Plasmodium infection on hepatocellular carcinoma in mice, and various techniques for gene expression analysis were used to identify possible signal regulation mechanisms. Results: We found that Plasmodium infection efficiently inhibited tumor progression and prolonged survival in tumor-bearing mice, which served as a murine implanted hepatoma model. The inhibition of tumor progression by Plasmodium infection was related to suppression of tumor angiogenesis within the tumor tissue and decreased infiltration of tumor-associated macrophages (TAMs). Further study demonstrated that matrix metalloprotease 9 (MMP-9) produced by TAMs contributed to tumor angiogenesis in tumor tissue and that the parasite-induced reduction in MMP-9 expression in TAMs resulted in the suppression of tumor angiogenesis. A mechanistic study revealed that the Plasmodium -derived hemozoin (HZ) that accumulated in TAMs inhibited IGF-1 signaling through the PI3-K and MAPK signaling pathways and thereby decreased the expression of MMP-9 in TAMs. Conclusions: Our study suggests that this novel approach of inhibiting tumor angiogenesis by Plasmodium infection is of high importance for the development of new therapies for cancer patients.