Foxp3 Expression in Macrophages Associated with RENCA Tumors in Mice Academic Article uri icon


  • The transcription factor Foxp3 represents the most specific functional marker of CD4+ regulatory T cells (TRegs). However, previous reports have described Foxp3 expression in other cell types including some subsets of macrophages, although there are conflicting reports and Foxp3 expression in cells other than Treg is not well characterized. We performed detailed investigations into Foxp3 expression in macrophages in the normal tissue and tumor settings. We detected Foxp3 protein in macrophages infiltrating mouse renal cancer tumors injected subcutaneously or in the kidney. Expression was demonstrated using flow cytometry and Western blot with two individual monoclonal antibodies. Further analyses confirmed Foxp3 expression in macrophages by RT PCR, and studies using ribonucleic acid-sequencing (RNAseq) demonstrated a previously unknown Foxp3 messenger (m)RNA transcript in tumor-associated macrophages. In addition, depletion of Foxp3+ cells using diphtheria toxin in Foxp3DTR mice reduced the frequency of type-2 macrophages (M2) in kidney tumors. Collectively, these results indicate that tumor-associated macrophages could express Foxp3.


  • Devaud, Christel
  • Yong, Carmen SM
  • John, Liza B
  • Westwood, Jennifer A
  • Duong, Connie PM
  • House, Colin M
  • Denoyer, Delphine
  • Li, Jason
  • Darcy, Phillip K
  • Kershaw, Michael H

publication date

  • 2014