Novel organotypic culture model of cholangiocarcinoma progression.
ABSTRACT Aim: Recent studies have suggested that increased α-smooth muscle-actin positive myofibroblastic cells (α-SMA positive CAF) in the desmoplastic stroma may relate to a more aggressive cancer and worse survival outcomes for intrahepatic cholangiocarcinoma (ICC) patients. To facilitate investigating cellular and molecular interactions between α-SMA positive CAF and cholangiocarcinoma cells related to ICC progression, we developed a novel 3-D organotypic culture model of cholangiocarcinoma that more accurately mimics the stromal microenvironment, gene expression profile and select pathophysiological characteristics of desmoplastic ICC in vivo. Methods: This unique model was established by co-culturing within a type I collagen gel matrix, a strain of cholangiocarcinoma cells (derived from an ICC formed in syngeneic rat liver following bile duct inoculation of spontaneously-transformed rat cholangiocytes) with varying numbers of clonal α-SMA positive CAF established from the same tumor type. Results: Cholangiocarcinoma cells and α-SMA positive CAF in monoculture each exhibited cell-specific biomarker gene expression profiles characteristic of stromal myofibroblastic cell versus malignant cholangiocyte cell types. In comparison, the gene expression profile and histopathological characteristics exhibited by the organotypic co-culture closely resembled those of whole tissue samples of the parent orthotopic ICC. We further showed α-SMA positive CAF to significantly enhance cholangiocarcinoma cell "ductal-like" growth and cancer cell migration/invasiveness in vitro, as well as to promote upregulated expression of select genes known to be associated with ICC invasion. Conclusion: This novel organotypic model provides an important new resource for studying the effects of microenvironment on cholangiocarcinoma progression in vitro and may have potential as a preclinical model for identifying molecularly targeted therapies.
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ABSTRACT: Recently, we observed that Met, the receptor for hepatocyte growth factor/scatter factor (HGF/SF), is overexpressed in epithelial cells of both early-appearing intestinal metaplastic glands in precancerous hepatic cholangiofibrotic tissue and neoplastic glands in later developed intestinal-type of cholangiocarcinoma originated from the furan rat model of cholangiocarcinogenesis when compared with normal and hyperplastic intrahepatic biliary epithelia. We now show that HGF/SF is also aberrantly expressed in a manner closely paralleling that of its receptor in the neoplastic epithelial cells of furan-induced rat cholangiocarcinomas and in a majority of metaplastic epithelial cells within earlier formed precancerous hepatic cholangiofibrotic tissue. Using in situ hybridization and reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR), we further showed specific expression of HGF/SF messenger RNA (mRNA) in a novel rat cholangiocarcinoma epithelial cell line overexpressing Met. This cholangiocarcinoma cell line, termed C611B, was established from tumorigenic cells isolated from a furan-induced transplantable tumor. Moreover, we detected by in situ hybridization strong expression of HGF/SF mRNA transcripts in the cancerous epithelial glands of cholangiocarcinoma developed in recipient rats after in vivo cell transplantation of C611B cells. In contrast, mRNA transcripts and protein immunoreactivity for this cytokine were not detected in hepatocytes and biliary epithelial cells in adult normal rat liver nor in rat hyperplastic intrahepatic biliary epithelium. Our results clearly show that HGF/SF becomes aberrantly expressed in cholangiocarcinoma epithelium and in putative precancerous intestinal metaplastic epithelium induced in the liver of furan-treated rats.Hepatology 07/2000; 31(6):1257-65. · 12.00 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Crosstalk between carcinoma cells and host stromal cells such as fibroblasts has a great deal of influence on the invasive and metastatic behavior of cancer cells. The oncogenic action of fibroblasts has been demonstrated through genetic alterations that occur specifically in fibroblasts. Hepatocyte growth factor (HGF), a ligand for the Met receptor tyrosine kinase, plays a definitive role, particularly in the progression to invasive and metastatic cancers, predominantly as a stroma-derived paracrine mediator. Many types of cancer cells secrete molecules that enhance HGF production in fibroblasts, while fibroblast-derived HGF, in turn, is a potent stimulator of the invasion of cancer cells. Fibroblast-specific genetic alterations leading to an overexpression of HGF are associated with the development of epithelial neoplasia and invasive carcinoma. Strategies for targeting the HGF-Met axis are being pursued, in attempts to block the malignant behavior of cancers. In normal tissues, the HGF-Met axis plays diverse roles in organogenesis and in wound healing. The simile that "cancer is a never-healing wound" appears to be pertinent here.International Journal of Cancer 09/2006; 119(3):477-83. · 6.20 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Mucin is a high molecular weight glycoprotein that plays an important role to protect the gastrointestinal tract epithelium. However, in cancer cells and during cancer progression, the expression profile of mucins is altered and expression of some mucins is correlated with prognosis for certain malignancies. The aim of this study was to determine the relationship between the expression of MUC1, MUC2, MUC5AC and MUC6 in cholangiocarcinoma and clinicopathological parameters as well as patient survival. In addition, this study was performed to identify whether immunohistochemical staining for mucins is useful to differentiate cholangiocarcinoma from adenocarcinoma of the pancreas and gallbladder. Immunohistochemical staining for MUC1, MUC2, MUC5AC and MUC6 was performed for 85 cases of cholangiocarcinoma, including 34 cases of intrahepatic cholangiocarcinoma (ICC), 51 cases of extrahepatic cholangiocarcinoma (ECC), 11 cases of gallbladder adenocarcinoma and 14 cases of pancreas adenocarcinoma. For cholangiocarcinomas, positivity of immunohistochemical staining for MUC1, MUC2, MUC5AC and MUC6 was 65.8, 23.5, 61.1 and 14.1%, respectively. For cholangiocarcinomas, MUC1 positivity was determined to be statistically significant for poor differentiation (p=0.002), T category (p=0.003), gross type (ICC, p=0.005; ECC, p=0.006) and poor patient survival (p=0.015). MUC5AC was more frequently expressed in advanced tumors (p=0.013). MUC6 expression was significantly detected in well-differentiated cholangiocarcinomas (p=0.006). There was no significant difference for the mucin staining patterns of cholangiocarcinomas, pancreatic adenocarcinomas and gallbladder adenocarcinomas. These results indicate that MUC1 expression in cholangiocarcinomas is closely related to dedifferentiation, infiltrative growth pattern and patient survival. Our results suggest that the expression of MUC1 might be associated with the progression of cholangiocarcinoma.Oncology Reports 10/2009; 22(3):649-57. · 2.30 Impact Factor