bims-stacyt Biomed news
on Paracrine crosstalk between cancer and the organism
Issue of 2019‒04‒07
nine papers selected by
Cristina Muñoz Pinedo
L’Institut d’Investigació Biomèdica de Bellvitge


  1. Biomed Res Int. 2019 ;2019 1613820
    Huo L, Fan Y, Wang H.
      Leukemia inhibitory factor (LIF) and leukemia inhibitory factor receptor (Lifr) protect CNS cells, specifically neurons and myelin-sheath oligodendrocytes, in conditions of oxygen-glucose deprivation (OGD). In the case of astrocyte apoptosis resulting from reperfusion injury following hypoxia, the function of the Lifr remains to be fully elucidated. This study established models of in vivo ischemia/reperfusion (I/R) using an in vitro model of OGD to investigate the direct impact of silencing the Lifr on astrocyte apoptosis. Astrocytes harvested from newborn Wistar rats were exposed to OGD. Cell viability and apoptosis levels were determined by the MTT (3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide) assay and annexin V/propidium iodide (PI) staining assays, respectively. Apoptosis was further investigated by the TdT-mediated dUTP nick-end labelling (TUNEL) assay. A standard western blotting protocol was applied to determine levels of the protein markers Bcl2, Bax, p-Akt/Akt, p-Stat3/Stat3, and p-Erk/Erk. The cell viability assay (MTT) showed that astrocyte viability decreased in response to OGD. Furthermore, blocking RNA to silence the Lifr further reduces astrocyte viability and increases levels of apoptosis as detected by annexin V/PI double staining. Likewise, western blotting after Lifr silencing demonstrated increased levels of the apoptosis-related proteins Bax and p-Erk/Erk and correspondingly lower levels of Bcl2, p-Akt/Akt, and p-Stat/Stat3. The data gathered in these analyses indicate that the Lifr plays a pivotal role in the astrocyte apoptosis induced by hypoxic/low-glucose environments. Further investigation of the relationship between apoptosis and the Lifr may provide a potential therapeutic target for the treatment of neurological injuries.
    DOI:  https://doi.org/10.1155/2019/1613820
  2. Clin Cancer Res. 2019 Apr 03. pii: clincanres.1543.2018. [Epub ahead of print]
    Rahma OE, Hodi FS.
      Both immune checkpoint inhibitors (ICIs) and anti-angiogenesis agents have changed the landscape of cancer treatment in the modern era. While anti-angiogenesis agents have demonstrated activities in tumors with high vascularization including renal cell carcinoma (RCC) and colorectal cancer (CRC), the effect of ICIs have been seen mainly in immunologically recognized tumors, with highly immune infiltrative lymphocytes. The main challenge in ICIs drug development is moving their activities to non-inflamed tumors and overcoming resistance that is driven in part by the immune suppressive microenvironment. Angiogenesis factors drive immune suppression by directly suppressing the antigen-presenting cells as well as immune effector cells or through augmenting the effect of T-regulatory cells (T-regs), myeloid-derived suppressor cell (MDSCs) and tumor associate macrophages (TAMs). Those suppressive immune cells can also drive angiogenesis creating a vicious cycle of impaired immune activation. The combination of bevacizumab and ipilimumab was the first to show promising effect of anti-angiogenesis and immune checkpoint inhibitors. A plethora of similar combinations have entered the clinic since then confirming the promising effects of such approach.
    DOI:  https://doi.org/10.1158/1078-0432.CCR-18-1543
  3. Clin Transl Med. 2019 Apr 01. 8(1): 10
    Daniel SK, Sullivan KM, Labadie KP, Pillarisetty VG.
      Pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDA) is a lethal disease with limited response to cytotoxic chemoradiotherapy, as well as newer immunotherapies. The PDA tumor microenvironment contains infiltrating immune cells including cytotoxic T cells; however, there is an overall immunosuppressive milieu. Hypoxia is a known element of the solid tumor microenvironment and may promote tumor survival. Through various mechanisms including, but not limited to, those mediated by HIF-1α, hypoxia also leads to increased tumor proliferation and metabolic changes. Furthermore, epithelial to mesenchymal transition is promoted through several pathways, including NOTCH and c-MET, regulated by hypoxia. Hypoxia-promoted changes also contribute to the immunosuppressive phenotype seen in many different cell types within the microenvironment and thereby may inhibit an effective immune system response to PDA. Pancreatic stellate cells (PSCs) and myofibroblasts appear to contribute to the recruitment of myeloid derived suppressor cells (MDSCs) and B cells in PDA via cytokines increased due to hypoxia. PSCs also increase collagen secretion in response to HIF-1α, which promotes a fibrotic stroma that alters T cell homing and migration. In hypoxic environments, B cells contribute to cytotoxic T cell exhaustion and produce chemokines to attract more immunosuppressive regulatory T cells. MDSCs inhibit T cell metabolism by hoarding key amino acids, modulate T cell homing by cleaving L-selectin, and prevent T cell activation by increasing PD-L1 expression. Immunosuppressive M2 phenotype macrophages promote T cell anergy via increased nitric oxide (NO) and decreased arginine in hypoxia. Increased numbers of regulatory T cells are seen in hypoxia which prevent effector T cell activation through cytokine production and increased CTLA-4. Effective immunotherapy for pancreatic adenocarcinoma and other solid tumors will need to help counteract the immunosuppressive nature of hypoxia-induced changes in the tumor microenvironment. Promising studies will look at combination therapies involving checkpoint inhibitors, chemokine inhibitors, and possible targeting of hypoxia. While no model is perfect, assuring that models incorporate the effects of hypoxia on cancer cells, stromal cells, and effector immune cells will be crucial in developing successful therapies.
    Keywords:  Hypoxia; Immunotherapy; Pancreatic cancer; Solid tumor
    DOI:  https://doi.org/10.1186/s40169-019-0226-9
  4. Cell Rep. 2019 Apr 02. pii: S2211-1247(19)30345-6. [Epub ahead of print]27(1): 226-237.e4
    Miska J, Lee-Chang C, Rashidi A, Muroski ME, Chang AL, Lopez-Rosas A, Zhang P, Panek WK, Cordero A, Han Y, Ahmed AU, Chandel NS, Lesniak MS.
      The mechanisms by which regulatory T cells (Tregs) migrate to and function within the hypoxic tumor microenvironment are unclear. Our studies indicate that specific ablation of hypoxia-inducible factor 1α (HIF-1α) in Tregs results in enhanced CD8+ T cell suppression versus wild-type Tregs under hypoxia, due to increased pyruvate import into the mitochondria. Importantly, HIF-1α-deficient Tregs are minimally affected by the inhibition of lipid oxidation, a fuel that is critical for Treg metabolism in tumors. Under hypoxia, HIF-1α directs glucose away from mitochondria, leaving Tregs dependent on fatty acids for mitochondrial metabolism within the hypoxic tumor. Indeed, inhibition of lipid oxidation enhances the survival of mice with glioma. Interestingly, HIF-1α-deficient-Treg mice exhibit significantly enhanced animal survival in a murine model of glioma, due to their stymied migratory capacity, explaining their reduced abundance in tumor-bearing mice. Thus HIF-1α acts as a metabolic switch for Tregs between glycolytic-driven migration and oxidative phosphorylation-driven immunosuppression.
    Keywords:  fatty acid oxidation; glioblastoma; glycolysis; immunosuppression; migration; oxidative phosphorylation; regulatory T cell
    DOI:  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.celrep.2019.03.029
  5. Life Sci. 2019 Mar 29. pii: S0024-3205(19)30245-0. [Epub ahead of print]
    Yu Q, Zhang M, Qian L, Wen D, Wu G.
      AIMS: Diabetic nephropathy is a growing health concern, which is reported to be associated with inflammation. Luteolin has been explored for the treatment of some diabetic complications. Although several studies have verified the effect of luteolin on diabetic nephropathy, the mechanism by which the therapeutic effects of luteolin on diabetic nephropathy has not been established. Therefore, we aimed to investigate the effect of luteolin on diabetic nephropathy and its underlying mechanism.MAIN METHODS: We used western blot, Real-time PCR, immunofluorescence and flow cytometry to analyze the effects of luteolin on podocyte injury and NOD-like receptor family and pyrin domain-containing protein 3 (NLRP3) inflammasome activation in high glucose (HG) condition. Reactive oxygen species (ROS) generation was measured by flow cytometry and malondialdehyde (MDA) level. To investigate the potential mechanism, we examined cell apoptosis upon transfection of siNLRP3.
    KEY FINDINGS: We showed that luteolin treatment could protect podocyte against HG-induced cell apoptotic and mitochondrial membrane potential collapse. In addition, luteolin significantly reduced NLRP3 inflammasome formation and subsequent interleukin-1β (IL-1β) secretion in HG-induced MPC-5 cells. Interestingly, siNLRP3 abolished the effect of luteolin on cell apoptosis, suggesting that the anti-apoptotic effect was found to be mostly related to NLRP3 inflammasome.
    SIGNIFICANCE: In summary, our data demonstrated the abilities of luteolin to inhibit podocyte injury and NLRP3 inflammasome activation, which could be used in the treatment of diabetic nephropathy.
    Keywords:  Apoptosis; Diabetic nephropathy; Luteolin; NLRP3 inflammasome; Podocyte; ROS
    DOI:  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.lfs.2019.03.073
  6. Exp Ther Med. 2019 Apr;17(4): 3101-3107
    Li H, Wang G, Lin S, Wang C, Zha J.
      In bronchopulmonary dysplasia (BPD), decreased angiogenesis and alveolarization is associated with pulmonary cell death and inflammation. It is commonly observed in premature infants who required mechanical ventilation and oxygen therapy. Since enhanced interleukin-6 (IL-6) expression has been reported in infants with BPD, it was hypothesized that a decrease in IL-6 may enhance lung inflammation and decrease hyperoxia-induced neonatal lung injury in mice. In the current study, newborn wild-type (WT) and IL-6 null mice were treated with 85% O2 (hyperoxia) or 21% O2 (normoxia) for 96 h. Although the increased volume and decreased quantity of alveoli was triggered by hyperoxia in WT and IL-6 null mice, transcription and translation of proinflammatory cytokines (monocyte chemoattractant protein-1, IL-10, IL-12 and tumor necrosis factor-α) and pulmonary cell death (caspase stimulation and terminal deoxynucleotidyl-transferase-mediated dUTP nick end labeling staining) were significantly enhanced in IL-6 null mice compared with WT mice. These results suggest that the crosstalk between inflammation and cell death may be involved in hyperoxia-induced lung injury in BPD. Future treatment approaches for bronchopulmonary dysplasia should be based on the suppression of cytokine expression.
    Keywords:  hyperoxia; inflammatory; interleukin-6; lung apoptosis
    DOI:  https://doi.org/10.3892/etm.2019.7315
  7. Cancer Res. 2019 Apr 05. pii: canres.3151.2018. [Epub ahead of print]
    Singh M, Tian XJ, Donnenberg VS, Watson AM, Zhang J, Stabile LP, Watkins SC, Xing J, Sant S.
      Targeting microenvironmental factors that foster migratory cell phenotypes is a promising strategy for halting tumor migration. However, lack of mechanistic understanding of the emergence of migratory phenotypes impedes pharmaceutical drug development. Using our 3D microtumor model with tight control over tumor size, we recapitulated the tumor size-induced hypoxic microenvironment and emergence of migratory phenotypes in microtumors from epithelial breast cells and patient-derived primary metastatic breast cancer cells, mesothelioma cells, and lung cancer xenograft cells (PDX). The microtumor models from various patient-derived tumor cells and PDX cells revealed upregulation of tumor-secreted factors including matrix metalloproteinase-9 (MMP9), fibronectin (FN), and soluble E-cadherin (sE-CAD), consistent with clinically reported elevated levels of FN and MMP9 in patient breast tumors compared to healthy mammary glands. Secreted factors in the conditioned media of large microtumors induced a migratory phenotype in non-hypoxic, non-migratory small microtumors. Subsequent mathematical analyses identified a two-stage microtumor progression and migration mechanism whereby hypoxia induces a migratory phenotype in the initialization stage which then becomes self-sustained through a positive feedback loop established among the tumor-secreted factors. Computational and experimental studies showed that inhibition of tumor-secreted factors effectively halts microtumor migration despite tumor-to-tumor variation in migration kinetics, while inhibition of hypoxia is effective only within a time window and is compromised by tumor-to-tumor variation, supporting our notion that hypoxia initiates migratory phenotypes but does not sustain it. In summary, we show that targeting temporal dynamics of evolving microenvironments, especially tumor-secreted factors during tumor progression, can halt tumor migration.
    DOI:  https://doi.org/10.1158/0008-5472.CAN-18-3151
  8. Kidney Blood Press Res. 2019 Apr 03. 1-9
    Zhang P, Dai H, Peng L.
      BACKGROUND/AIMS: Peritoneal fibrosis (PF) is a common complication in patients receiving long-term peritoneal dialysis, which results in damage to peritoneal functions. Epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) is a key step in the early pathogenesis of PF. Increasing evidence has shown that signal transducer and activator of transcription 3 (STAT3) signaling pathway is involved in EMT and tissue fibrosis by interacting with distinct EMT-inducing molecules, including transforming growth factor (TGF)-β and advanced glycation end products (AGEs). This study investigated the involvement of STAT3 in the PF process.METHODS: We used high glucose-treated human peritoneal mesothelial cell line HMrSV5 as an in vitro model to expose the peritoneal mesothelial cells to high-glucose dialysate. Expression of EMT markers was detected by qRT-PCR. Accumulation of methylglyoxal (MGO) and AGEs in the culture supernatant were measured by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. Phosphorylation of STAT3 was assessed by Western blot.
    RESULTS: Results showed that high glucose upregulated TGF-β, increased the productions of MGO and AGEs, and induced EMT in HMrSV5 cells. High glucose also activated the STAT3 pathway. STAT3 inhibitor reduced the high glucose-induced EMT, via reducing TGF-β expression and repressing the accumulation of MGO and AGEs.
    CONCLUSION: Our results revealed a critical role for STAT3 signaling in high glucose-induced EMT in HMrSV5 cells, and suggested that inhibition of STAT3 might be a treatment for high glucose-induced fibrogenesis in PF.
    Keywords:  Epithelial mesenchymal transition; Glucose; Peritoneal fibrosis; STAT3
    DOI:  https://doi.org/10.1159/000498965
  9. Sci Rep. 2019 Apr 03. 9(1): 5603
    Chiu HW, Li LH, Hsieh CY, Rao YK, Chen FH, Chen A, Ka SM, Hua KF.
      The NLRP3 inflammasome promotes the pathogenesis of metabolic, neurodegenerative and infectious diseases. Increasing evidences show that the NLRP3 inflammasome is a promising therapeutic target in inflammatory diseases. Glucosamine is widely used as a dietary supplement to promote the health of cartilage tissue and is expected to exert anti-inflammatory activity in joint inflammation, which is a nucleotide-binding oligomerization domain-like receptor containing pyrin domain 3 (NLRP3) inflammasome-associated complication. Here, we investigated whether GlcN inhibits the NLRP3 inflammasome and dissected the underlying molecular mechanisms. We found that GlcN suppressed the NLRP3 inflammasome in mouse and human macrophages. A mechanistic study revealed that GlcN inhibited the expression of NLRP3 and IL-1β precursor by reducing reactive oxygen species generation and NF-κB activation in lipopolysaccharide-activated macrophages. GlcN also suppressed mitochondrial reactive oxygen species generation and mitochondrial integrity loss in NLRP3-activated macrophages. Additionally, GlcN disrupted NLRP3 inflammasome assembly by inhibiting NLRP3 binding to PKR, NEK7 and ASC. Furthermore, oral administration of GlcN reduced peritoneal neutrophils influx and lavage fluids concentrations of IL-1β, IL-6 MCP-1 and TNF-α in uric acid crystal-injected mice. These results indicated that GlcN might be a novel dietary supplement for the amelioration of NLRP3 inflammasome-associated complications.
    DOI:  https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-019-42130-z