Tumor Cell-Associated IL-1α Affects Breast Cancer Progression and Metastasis in Mice through Manipulation of the Tumor Immune Microenvironment

Mathumathi Krishnamohan, Irena Kaplanov, Sapir Maudi-Boker, Muhammad Yousef, Noy Machluf-Katz, Idan Cohen, Moshe Elkabets, Jaison Titus, Marina Bersudsky, Ron N. Apte, Elena Voronov, Alex Braiman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


IL-1α is a dual function cytokine that affects inflammatory and immune responses and plays a pivotal role in cancer. The effects of intracellular IL-1α on the development of triple negative breast cancer (TNBC) in mice were assessed using the CRISPR/Cas9 system to suppress IL-1α expression in 4T1 breast cancer cells. Knockout of IL-1α in 4T1 cells modified expression of multiple genes, including downregulation of cytokines and chemokines involved in the recruitment of tumor-associated pro-inflammatory cells. Orthotopical injection of IL-1α knockout (KO) 4T1 cells into BALB/c mice led to a significant decrease in local tumor growth and lung metastases, compared to injection of wild-type 4T1 (4T1/WT) cells. Neutrophils and myeloid-derived suppressor cells were abundant in tumors developing after injection of 4T1/WT cells, whereas more antigen-presenting cells were observed in the tumor microenvironment after injection of IL-1α KO 4T1 cells. This switch correlated with increased infiltration of CD3+CD8+ and NKp46+cells. Engraftment of IL-1α knockout 4T1 cells into immunodeficient NOD.SCID mice resulted in more rapid tumor growth, with increased lung metastasis in comparison to engraftment of 4T1/WT cells. Our results suggest that tumor-associated IL-1α is involved in TNBC progression in mice by modulating the interplay between immunosuppressive pro-inflammatory cells vs. antigen-presenting and cytotoxic cells.

Original languageAmerican English
Article number3950
Issue number7
StatePublished - 1 Apr 2024


  • MDSC
  • inflammation
  • interleukin-1-alpha
  • intracellular IL-1α
  • metastasis

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Molecular Biology
  • Spectroscopy
  • Catalysis
  • Inorganic Chemistry
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Organic Chemistry


Dive into the research topics of 'Tumor Cell-Associated IL-1α Affects Breast Cancer Progression and Metastasis in Mice through Manipulation of the Tumor Immune Microenvironment'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this