An evolutionary hybrid cellular automaton model of solid tumour growth.
ABSTRACT We propose a cellular automaton model of solid tumour growth, in which each cell is equipped with a micro-environment response network. This network is modelled using a feed-forward artificial neural network, that takes environmental variables as an input and from these determines the cellular behaviour as the output. The response of the network is determined by connection weights and thresholds in the network, which are subject to mutations when the cells divide. As both available space and nutrients are limited resources for the tumour, this gives rise to clonal evolution where only the fittest cells survive. Using this approach we have investigated the impact of the tissue oxygen concentration on the growth and evolutionary dynamics of the tumour. The results show that the oxygen concentration affects the selection pressure, cell population diversity and morphology of the tumour. A low oxygen concentration in the tissue gives rise to a tumour with a fingered morphology that contains aggressive phenotypes with a small apoptotic potential, while a high oxygen concentration in the tissue gives rise to a tumour with a round morphology containing less evolved phenotypes. The tissue oxygen concentration thus affects the tumour at both the morphological level and on the phenotype level.
Article: Hypoxia selects for high-metastatic Lewis lung carcinoma cells overexpressing Mcl-1 and exhibiting reduced apoptotic potential in solid tumors.[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Low oxygen tension (hypoxia) is a common feature of solid tumors and stimulates the expressions of a variety of genes including those related to angiogenesis, apoptosis and endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress response. Here we show a close correlation between metastatic potential and the resistance to hypoxia- and ER stress-induced apoptosis among the cell lines with differing metastatic potential derived from Lewis lung carcinoma. An apoptosis-specific expression profiling and immunoblot analyses revealed that the expression of antiapoptotic Mcl-1 increased as the resistance to apoptosis increased. Downregulation of the Mcl-1 expression in the high-metastatic cells by Mcl-1 small interfering RNA increased the sensitivity to hypoxia-induced apoptosis and decreased the metastatic ability. The hypoxia-induced apoptosis was not associated with p53 accumulation, although at present it is not possible to conclude that apoptosis-induced apoptosis is p53-independent. There was no correlation between the expression levels of ER stress-response proteins GADD153, GRP78 and ORP150 and the resistance to hypoxia or ER stresses. In vitro, small numbers of the high-metastatic cells overtook the low-metastatic cells after exposure to several rounds of hypoxia and reoxygenation. In solid tumors initially established from equal mixtures, the proportion of the high-metastatic cells to low-metastatic cells was significantly higher in hypoxic areas. Moreover, the high-metastatic cells were overtaking the low-metastatic cells in some of the tumors. Thus, tumor hypoxia and ER stress may provide a physiological selective pressure for the expansion of the high-metastatic cells overexpressing Mcl-1 and exhibiting reduced apoptotic potential in solid tumors.Oncogene 03/2006; 25(6):917-28. · 6.37 Impact Factor