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The chemokine receptor CCR6 facilitates the onset of mammary neoplasia in the MMTV-PyMT mouse model via recruitment of tumor-promoting macrophages.

Molecular cancer (2015-06-07)
Sarah T Boyle, Jessica W Faulkner, Shaun R McColl, Marina Kochetkova
ABSTRACT

The expression of the chemokine receptor CCR6 has been previously correlated with higher grades and stages of breast cancer and decreased relapse-free survival. Also, its cognate chemokine ligand CCL20 has been reported to induce proliferation of cultured human breast epithelial cells. To establish if CCR6 plays a functional role in mammary tumorigenesis, a bigenic MMTV-PyMT CCR6-null mouse was generated and mammary tumor development was assessed. Levels of tumor-infiltrating immune cells within tumor-bearing mammary glands from MMTV-PyMT Ccr6 (WT) and Ccr6 (-/-) mice were also analyzed. Deletion of CCR6 delayed tumor onset, significantly reduced the extent of initial hyperplastic outgrowth, and decreased tumor incidence in PyMT transgenic mice. CCR6 was then shown to promote the recruitment of pro-tumorigenic macrophages to the tumor site, facilitating the onset of neoplasia. This study delineated for the first time a role for CCR6 in the development of breast cancer, and demonstrated a critical function for this receptor in maintaining the pro-tumorigenic cancer microenvironment.

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