Pathogenic role for macrophage migration inhibitory factor in glioblastoma and its targeting with specific inhibitors as novel tailored therapeutic approach

Katia Mangano, Emanuela Mazzon, Maria Sofia Basile, Roberto Di Marco, Placido Bramanti, Santa Mammana, Maria Cristina Petralia, Paolo Fagone and Ferdinando Nicoletti _

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Oncotarget. 2018; 9:17951-17970. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.24885

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Katia Mangano1, Emanuela Mazzon2, Maria Sofia Basile1, Roberto Di Marco3, Placido Bramanti2, Santa Mammana2, Maria Cristina Petralia1,4, Paolo Fagone1 and Ferdinando Nicoletti1

1Department of Biomedical and Biotechnological Sciences, University of Catania, Catania, Italy

2IRCCS Centro Neurolesi “Bonino-Pulejo”, Messina, Italy

3Department of Medicine and Health Sciences, University of Molise, Campobasso, Italy

4Department of Formative Processes, University of Catania, Catania, Italy

Correspondence to:

Ferdinando Nicoletti, email: [email protected]

Keywords: macrophage migration Inhibitory factor; glioblastoma; brain tumors; neuro-oncology; D-DT

Received: November 30, 2017     Accepted: March 08, 2018     Published: April 03, 2018


Macrophage Migration Inhibitory Factor (MIF) is a pro-inflammatory cytokine expressed by a variety of cell types. Although MIF has been primarily studied for its role in the pathogenesis of autoimmune diseases, it has also been shown to promote tumorigenesis and it is over expressed in various malignant tumors. MIF is able to induce angiogenesis, cell cycle progression, and to block apoptosis. As tailored therapeutic approaches for the inhibition of endogenous MIF are being developed, it is important to evaluate the role of MIF in individual neoplastic conditions that may benefit from specific MIF inhibitors. Along with this line, in this paper, we have reviewed the evidence of the involvement of MIF in the etiopathogenesis and progression of glioblastoma and the preclinical data suggesting the possible use of specific MIF inhibition as a potential novel therapeutic strategy for brain tumors.

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