CCR1 and CCR5 mediate cancer-induced myelopoiesis and differentiation of myeloid cells in the tumor

Serena Zilio, Silvio Bicciato, Donald Weed, Paolo Serafini

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Background Cancer-induced 'emergency' myelopoiesis plays a key role in tumor progression by inducing the accumulation of myeloid cells with a suppressive phenotype peripherally and in the tumor. Chemokine receptors (CCRs) and, in particular, CCR1, CCR2, CCR5, and CCR7 are emerging as key regulators of myeloid cell trafficking and function but their precise role has not been completely clarified yet because of the signal redundancy, integration, and promiscuity of chemokines and of the expression of these CCRs on other leukocyte subsets. Methods We used the 4PD nanoparticle for the in vivo targeted silencing of CCR1, CCR2, CCR5, and/or CCR7 in the myeloid cells of tumor bearing mice to evaluate the effect of treatments on tumor growth, myeloid cell trafficking and polarization. We used flow and image cytometry and functional assays to monitor changes in the tumor microenvironment and depletion experiments and immune deficient mice to determine the role of Ly6G + cells during tumor progression. We further evaluated in vitro the impact of chemokine receptor inhibition and tumor derived factors on myeloid cell differentiation from mouse and human hematopoietic stem and precursors cells (HSPCs) using flow cytometry, transcriptome analysis, cytokines beads arrays, functional assays, and mice deficient for CCR1 or CCR5. Results 4PD-mediated in vivo silencing of CCR1 and CCR5 on myeloid cells and myeloid precursors was necessary and sufficient to inhibit tumor progression. Functional studies indicated that this antitumor effect was not mediated by alteration of myeloid cell chemotaxes but rather by the repolarization of polymorphonuclear myeloid-derived suppressor cells (MDSCs) into tumoricidal neutrophils. Transcriptome functional and cytokine analysis indicated that tumor derived factors induced CCL3 and CCL4 in HSPCs that, through the autocrine engagement of CCR1 and CCR5, induced HSPCs differentiation in MDSCs. These finding were confirmed across mice with different genetic backgrounds and using HSPCs from umbilical cord blood and peripheral blood of patients with cancer. Conclusions Our data support the notion that CCR1 and CCR5 and their ligands are a master immunological hub activated by several tumor derived factors. Activation of this pathway is necessary for the differentiation of MDSCs and protumoral macrophages.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere003131
JournalJournal for ImmunoTherapy of Cancer
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 21 2022
Externally publishedYes


  • antigen
  • immunity
  • immunomodulation
  • innate
  • myeloid-derived suppressor cells
  • neutrophil infiltration
  • receptors

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology
  • Molecular Medicine
  • Oncology
  • Pharmacology
  • Cancer Research


Dive into the research topics of 'CCR1 and CCR5 mediate cancer-induced myelopoiesis and differentiation of myeloid cells in the tumor'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this