BioMed research international

Cervical cancer cell supernatants induce a phenotypic switch from U937-derived macrophage-activated M1 state into M2-like suppressor phenotype with change in Toll-like receptor profile.

PMID 25309919


Cervical cancer (CC) is the second most common cancer among women worldwide. Infection with human papillomavirus (HPV) is the main risk factor for developing CC. Macrophages are important immune effector cells; they can be differentiated into two phenotypes, identified as M1 (classically activated) and M2 (alternatively activated). Macrophage polarization exerts profound effects on the Toll-like receptor (TLR) profile. In this study, we evaluated whether the supernatant of human CC cells HeLa, SiHa, and C-33A induces a shift of M1 macrophage toward M2 macrophage in U937-derived macrophages. The results showed that soluble factors secreted by CC cells induce a change in the immunophenotype of macrophages from macrophage M1 into macrophage M2. U937-derived macrophages M1 released proinflammatory cytokines and nitric oxide; however, when these cells were treated with the supernatant of CC cell lines, we observed a turnover of M1 toward M2. These cells increased CD163 and IL-10 expression. The expression of TLR-3, -7, and -9 is increased when the macrophages were treated with the supernatant of CC cells. Our result strongly suggests that CC cells may, through the secretion of soluble factors, induce a change of immunophenotype M1 into M2 macrophages.