Mechanisms of cancer cell recognition and elimination by the innate immune system remains unclear. Circulating hemocytes are associated with the hematopoietic tumors in Drosophila mxc mbn1 mutant larvae. The innate immune signalling pathways are activated in the fat body to suppress the tumor growth by inducing antimicrobial peptides (AMP). Here, we investigated the regulatory mechanism underlying the activation in the mutant. Reactive oxygen species accumulated in the hemocytes due to induction of dual oxidase and its activator. The hemocytes were also localized on the fat body. These were essential for transmitting the information on tumors toward the fat body to induce AMP expression. Regarding to the tumor recognition, we found that matrix metalloproteinase 1 (MMP1) and MMP2 were highly expressed in the tumors. Ectopic expression of MMP2 was associated with AMP induction in the mutants. Furthermore, the basement membrane components in the tumors were reduced and ultimately lost. The hemocytes may recognize the disassembly in the tumors. Our findings highlight the underlying mechanism via which macrophage-like hemocytes recognize tumor cells and relay the information toward the fat body to induce AMPs. and contribute to uncover the immune system’s roles against cancer.
Drosophila blood cells transmit information regarding the existence of tumor cells to the fat body and induce the production of anti-tumor peptides via the generation of reactive oxygen species.