Oncogenes can induce inflammatory signaling, leading to the recruitment of immune cells to tumor site. Immune cells can further influence tumor development by either restraining or facilitating tumorigenesis. Here, we investigated how distinct oncogenes shape the immune responses during tumorigenesis in vivo. We utilized several established mouse models of liver cancer in which tumorigenesis is driven by the overexpression of MYC, MET, or AKT+RAS oncogenes. We evaluated the immune cells at early vs. late stages of tumor development by immunohistochemical staining of liver tissues using lineage-specific immune cell markers. In addition, we assessed activation of the pro-inflammatory NFκB pathway by immunoblot detection of IkBα and phospho-Ser(536)-NFκB levels in liver lysates, as well as by immunohistochemical analysis of NFκB (p65) nuclear localization. Histological analysis revealed leukocytic clustering around hepatocytes in pre-neoplastic livers in MYC and AKT+RAS, but not in the MET liver tumor model. Moreover, the leukocyte profiles identified in pre-neoplastic livers and liver tumors were different in MYC vs. AKT+RAS model. Finally, we found that the NFκB pathway was inactive in MYC and AKT+RAS tumors, but hyperactivated in MET tumors. In summary, our results suggest that the type of tumor-initiating oncogenic lesion profoundly influences the identity of recruited immune cells and activation of NFκB pathway in the course of tumorigenesis. We are currently in the process of elucidating the mechanisms behind oncogene-mediated regulation of immune responses, which may reveal novel targets for anti-cancer therapy.

Citation Format: {Authors}. {Abstract title} [abstract]. In: Proceedings of the 103rd Annual Meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research; 2012 Mar 31-Apr 4; Chicago, IL. Philadelphia (PA): AACR; Cancer Res 2012;72(8 Suppl):Abstract nr 310. doi:1538-7445.AM2012-310