Granulocyte colony-stimulating factor (G-CSF) is a cytokine that is highly expressed in human and mouse colorectal cancers (CRC). We previously reported that G-CSF stimulated human CRC cell growth and migration, therefore in this study we sought to examine the therapeutic potential of anti-G-CSF treatment for CRC. G-CSF is known to mobilize neutrophils, however its impact on other immune cells has not been well examined. Here, we investigated the effects of therapeutic anti-G-CSF treatment on CRC growth and anti-tumor immune responses. C57BL/6 mice treated with azoxymethane/dextran sodium sulfate (AOM/DSS) to induce neoplasms were administered anti-G-CSF or isotype control antibodies three times a week for three weeks. Animals treated with anti-G-CSF antibodies had a marked decrease in neoplasm number and size compared to the isotype control group. Colon neutrophil and macrophage frequency were unchanged, but the number of macrophages producing IL-10 were decreased while IL-12 producing macrophages were increased. NK cells were substantially increased in colons of anti-G-CSF treated mice, along with IFNγ producing CD4+ and CD8+ T cells. These studies are the first to indicate a crucial role for G-CSF inhibition in promoting protective anti-tumor immunity, and suggest that anti-G-CSF treatment is a potential therapeutic approach for CRC.
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