Nerve growth and expression of receptors for nerve growth factor in tumors of melanocyte origin.
ABSTRACT Nerve growth factor (NGF) stimulates growth and differentiation of sensory and sympathetic neurons. It is not known what role NGF plays in melanoma development, but nevus and malignant melanoma cells express NGF-receptor (NGF-R). We counted nerve fibers within melanocytic nevi, primary cutaneous melanomas, and cutaneous melanoma metastases using a monoclonal antibody (MoAb) as marker against a 200-kD glycoprotein that is expressed on human nerves. The expression of NGF-R was studied in serial cryostat sections using a MoAb against the NGF-R. Compared to normal skin, increased numbers of nerve fibers were found in 72 melanocytic nevi. In congenital nevi their number significantly increased with age. In 47 primary cutaneous melanomas the number of nerve fibers decreased in proportion to tumor thickness. In 33 cutaneous melanoma metastases no accumulation of nerve fibers was found. NGF-R was not expressed in normal skin melanocytes and in the majority of nevus cells in melanocytic nevi. Considerable numbers of NGF-R-positive nervus cells were found only in some congenital nevi and few acquired nevi with dysplastic features. By contrast, in primary and metastatic melanomas higher expression of NGF-R was observed. The increased number of nerve fibers in melanocytic nevi suggests that neurite-promoting factors are produced in situ. Production of such factors appears to be lost in malignant melanoma cells. The finding of an inverse correlation between an abundance of nerve fibers in NGF-R-poor nevi and a high expression of NGF-R in melanomas that show no evidence of nerve growth suggest a role of NGF and its receptor in malignant melanocytic tumors.
- SourceAvailable from: Adrienne Gorman[Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: One of the major challenges for cancer therapeutics is the resistance of many tumor cells to induction of cell death due to pro-survival signaling in the cancer cells. Here we review the growing literature which shows that neurotrophins contribute to pro-survival signaling in many different types of cancer. In particular, nerve growth factor, the archetypal neurotrophin, has been shown to play a role in tumorigenesis over the past decade. Nerve growth factor mediates its effects through its two cognate receptors, TrkA, a receptor tyrosine kinase and p75NTR, a member of the death receptor superfamily. Depending on the tumor origin, pro-survival signaling can be mediated by TrkA receptors or by p75NTR. For example, in breast cancer the aberrant expression of nerve growth factor stimulates proliferative signaling through TrkA and pro-survival signaling through p75NTR. This latter signaling through p75NTR promotes increased resistance to the induction of cell death by chemotherapeutic treatments. In contrast, in prostate cells the p75NTR mediates cell death and prevents metastasis. In prostate cancer, expression of this receptor is lost, which contributes to tumor progression by allowing cells to survive, proliferate and metastasize. This review focuses on our current knowledge of neurotrophin signaling in cancer, with a particular emphasis on nerve growth factor regulation of cell death and survival in cancer.Cancers. 01/2011; 3(1):510-30.
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ABSTRACT: Background/Aims: Spheroid cells which can grow as nonattached spheroids in vitro culture condition are considered as tumor-initiating cells that have properties similar to those of stem cells. However, the existence of spheroid cells in WM-266-4, a human malignant metastatic melanoma cell line, has not yet been reported. Methods: Accordingly, we investigated whether WM-266-4 can form spheroids, and characterized these spheroids using qRT-PCR, histology, immunohistochemistry and xenograft. Results: WM-266-4 contains a small subpopulation of cells that grow as spheroids and express genes strongly related to tumor malignancy and stem-like factors. Second, histological analysis of the spheres revealed that they consist of 300–400 round cells per sphere with a high karyoplasmic ratio. They have a basophilic cytoplasm and are highly pleomorphic in size, and sometimes multinucleated and giant. Third, although there were differences between the spheroid and bulk cells, they both have high tumorigenic potential, as both cell types formed a tumor mass upon injection of only 100 cells in nude mice. Conclusion: We characterized the spheroid cells in an established melanoma cell line. We suggest that enriched spheroid cells might contain more dedifferentiated progenitor cells, but we could not conclude spheroid cells are cancer stem cells.Tumor Biology 01/2009; 30:300-309. · 2.52 Impact Factor
- Journal of The Neurological Sciences - J NEUROL SCI. 01/2009; 285.