Vascular niche IL-6 induces alternative macrophage activation in glioblastoma through HIF-2α
Published Web Locationhttps://doi.org/10.1038/s41467-018-03050-0
Spatiotemporal regulation of tumor immunity remains largely unexplored. Here we identify a vascular niche that controls alternative macrophage activation in glioblastoma (GBM). We show that tumor-promoting macrophages are spatially proximate to GBM-associated endothelial cells (ECs), permissive for angiocrine-induced macrophage polarization. We identify ECs as one of the major sources for interleukin-6 (IL-6) expression in GBM microenvironment. Furthermore, we reveal that colony-stimulating factor-1 and angiocrine IL-6 induce robust arginase-1 expression and macrophage alternative activation, mediated through peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-γ-dependent transcriptional activation of hypoxia-inducible factor-2α. Finally, utilizing a genetic murine GBM model, we show that EC-specific knockout of IL-6 inhibits macrophage alternative activation and improves survival in the GBM-bearing mice. These findings illustrate a vascular niche-dependent mechanism for alternative macrophage activation and cancer progression, and suggest that targeting endothelial IL-6 may offer a selective and efficient therapeutic strategy for GBM, and possibly other solid malignant tumors.