[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The tumor microenvironment plays a pivotal role in tumor initiation, progression, metastasis, and the response to anti-cancer therapies. Three-dimensional co-culture systems are frequently used to explicate tumor-stroma interactions, including their role in drug responses. However, many of the interactions that occur in vivo in the intact microenvironment cannot be completely replicated in these in vitro settings. Thus, direct visualization of these processes in real-time has become an important tool in understanding tumor responses to therapies and identifying the interactions between cancer cells and the stroma that can influence these responses. Here we provide a method for using spinning disk confocal microscopy of live, anesthetized mice to directly observe drug distribution, cancer cell responses and changes in tumor-stroma interactions following administration of systemic therapy in breast cancer models. We describe procedures for labeling different tumor components, treatment of animals for observing therapeutic responses, and the surgical procedure for exposing tumor tissues for imaging up to 40 hours. The results obtained from this protocol are time-lapse movies, in which such processes as drug infiltration, cancer cell death and stromal cell migration can be evaluated using image analysis software.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Little is known about the dynamics of cancer cell death in response to therapy in the tumor microenvironment. Intravital microscopy of chemotherapy-treated mouse mammary carcinomas allowed us to follow drug distribution, cell death, and tumor-stroma interactions. We observed associations between vascular leakage and response to doxorubicin, including improved response in matrix metalloproteinase-9 null mice that had increased vascular leakage. Furthermore, we observed CCR2-dependent infiltration of myeloid cells after treatment and that Ccr2 null host mice responded better to treatment with doxorubicin or cisplatin. These data show that the microenvironment contributes critically to drug response via regulation of vascular permeability and innate immune cell infiltration. Thus, live imaging can be used to gain insights into drug responses in situ.
Cancer cell 04/2012; 21(4):488-503. · 25.29 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The nature and site of tumor-antigen presentation to immune T cells by bone-marrow-derived cells within the tumor microenvironment remains unresolved. We generated a fluorescent mouse model of spontaneous immunoevasive breast cancer and identified a subset of myeloid cells with significant similarity to dendritic cells and macrophages that constitutively ingest tumor-derived proteins and present processed tumor antigens to reactive T cells. Using intravital live imaging, we determined that infiltrating tumor-specific T cells engage in long-lived interactions with these cells, proximal to the tumor. In vitro, these cells capture cytotoxic T cells in signaling-competent conjugates but do not support full activation or sustain cytolysis. The spatiotemporal dynamics revealed here implicate nonproductive interactions between T cells and antigen-presenting cells on the tumor margin.
Cancer cell 03/2012; 21(3):402-17. · 25.29 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The innate immune system ensures effective protection against foreign pathogens and plays important roles in tissue remodeling. There are many types of innate immune cells, including monocytes, macrophages, dendritic cells, and granulocytes. Interestingly, these cells accumulate in most solid tumors, including those of the breast. There, they play a tumor-promoting role through secretion of growth and angiogenic factors, as well as immunosuppressive molecules. This is in strong contrast to the tumor-suppressing effects that innate immune cells exert in vitro upon proper activation. Therapeutic approaches have been developed with the aim of achieving similar suppressive activities in vivo. However, multiple factors in the tumor microenvironment, many of which are immunosuppressive, represent a major obstacle to effective treatment. Here, we discuss the potential of combating breast cancer through activation of the innate immune system, including possible strategies to enhance the success of immunotherapy.
Journal of Mammary Gland Biology and Neoplasia 09/2011; 16(3):189-203. · 7.52 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: INTRODUCTION Genetic studies and tumor biopsies have shown the importance of stromal components for cancer progression, but much remains to be learned about the dynamic interactions among the distinct tumor components within live animals. One challenge of studying cell behavior in progressively developing tumors has been the difficulty of maintaining live mice on the microscope stage. To prepare mice for long-term intravital imaging, auxiliary equipment is necessary to enable and to control anesthesia (such as the anesthesia gas mixer itself, a gas humidifier, indwelling lines for saline, and heat blanket). The other important component is to gain optical access to the mammary gland. This protocol describes a surgical technique that creates a skin flap with the mammary gland. The method is relatively easily taught, does not compromise the peritoneal cavity or any major blood vessels, and is generally well tolerated by the mice. There is minimal inflammatory response to the surgery itself if the solutions and tools are sterile, the surgical work area is clean, and aseptic techniques are used. This protocol works well for a single long-term image session, but does not enable repeated imaging sessions. For such approaches, methods for implanting imaging windows over the inguinal mammary gland should be used instead.
Cold Spring Harbor Protocols 01/2011; 2011(2):pdb.prot5562. · 4.63 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: INTRODUCTION Tumors contain many components in addition to the cancer cells, including blood vessels, fibroblasts, and immune cells. Genetic studies and tumor biopsies have generated insights into the importance of these stromal components for cancer progression. However, it remains a challenge to reveal the dynamic interactions among the distinct tumor components within live animals. Studies involving multiphoton microscopy allow direct imaging of cellular movement in live mice, but multiphoton microscopy is expensive, complex, and usually relies on a single excitation wavelength for all fluorophores. This article describes a method for intravital imaging using a microlensed spinning-disk confocal microscope. Although tissue penetration with spinning-disk confocal microscopy is lower than with multiphoton microscopy, image acquisition with this method is very rapid, so artifacts from respiratory motion are avoided. Photobleaching and phototoxicity are low, and multicolor acquisition is cheaper and easier than with multiphoton microscopy. This article discusses various aspects of experimental setup, as well as methods for addressing technical barriers, such as generating and working with multiple tumor microenvironments within individual live mice, image collection, and long-term anesthesia.
Cold Spring Harbor Protocols 01/2011; 2011(2):pdb.top97. · 4.63 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: INTRODUCTION Anesthesia protocols for mice have been optimized, as described here, to achieve long-term imaging (up to 40 h) and facilitate survival through careful monitoring of the mice during anesthesia. Isoflurane anesthesia is the preferred method, because it can be adjusted quickly as needed during the experiment. Critical for the long survival times under anesthesia is the use of the lowest possible dose of anesthesia, which is identified by corneal reflex and monitoring of breath and heart rate, blood-oxygenation levels, and vascular distension using an oximeter probe. It is critical that the carrier gas for isoflurane is humidified. In addition, it is essential to keep mice warm and to compensate for loss of fluid by supplementing with saline. Alternative approaches rely on injectable anesthetics, which do not require dedicated equipment or high-ventilation rates in the imaging room. However, injectable anesthetics are harder to dose for image sessions of >6-10 h.
Cold Spring Harbor Protocols 01/2011; 2011(2):pdb.prot5563. · 4.63 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The extracellular matrix (ECM) is a key regulator of cell and tissue function. Traditionally, the ECM has been thought of primarily as a physical scaffold that binds cells and tissues together. However, the ECM also elicits biochemical and biophysical signaling. Controlled proteolysis and remodeling of the ECM network regulate tissue tension, generate pathways for migration, and release ECM protein fragments to direct normal developmental processes such as branching morphogenesis. Collagens are major components of the ECM of which basement membrane type IV and interstitial matrix type I are the most prevalent. Here we discuss how abnormal expression, proteolysis and structure of these collagens influence cellular functions to elicit multiple effects on tumors, including proliferation, initiation, invasion, metastasis, and therapy response.
Current opinion in cell biology 10/2010; 22(5):697-706. · 14.15 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Solid tumors are not simply clones of cancer cells. Instead, they are abnormal organs composed of multiple cell types and extracellular matrix. Some aspects of tumor development resemble processes seen in developing organs, whereas others are more akin to tissue remodeling. Some microenvironments, particularly those associated with tissue injury, are favorable for progression of mutant cells, whereas others restrict it. Cancer cells can also instruct surrounding tissues to undergo changes that promote malignancy. Understanding the complex ways in which cancer cells interact with their surroundings, both locally in the tumor organ and systemically in the body as a whole, has implications for effective cancer prevention and therapy.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Innate regulatory networks within organs maintain tissue homeostasis and facilitate rapid responses to damage. We identified a novel pathway regulating vessel stability in tissues that involves matrix metalloproteinase 14 (MMP14) and transforming growth factor beta 1 (TGFbeta(1)). Whereas plasma proteins rapidly extravasate out of vasculature in wild-type mice following acute damage, short-term treatment of mice in vivo with a broad-spectrum metalloproteinase inhibitor, neutralizing antibodies to TGFbeta(1), or an activin-like kinase 5 (ALK5) inhibitor significantly enhanced vessel leakage. By contrast, in a mouse model of age-related dermal fibrosis, where MMP14 activity and TGFbeta bioavailability are chronically elevated, or in mice that ectopically express TGFbeta in the epidermis, cutaneous vessels are resistant to acute leakage. Characteristic responses to tissue damage are reinstated if the fibrotic mice are pretreated with metalloproteinase inhibitors or TGFbeta signaling antagonists. Neoplastic tissues, however, are in a constant state of tissue damage and exhibit altered hemodynamics owing to hyperleaky angiogenic vasculature. In two distinct transgenic mouse tumor models, inhibition of ALK5 further enhanced vascular leakage into the interstitium and facilitated increased delivery of high molecular weight compounds into premalignant tissue and tumors. Taken together, these data define a central pathway involving MMP14 and TGFbeta that mediates vessel stability and vascular response to tissue injury. Antagonists of this pathway could be therapeutically exploited to improve the delivery of therapeutics or molecular contrast agents into tissues where chronic damage or neoplastic disease limits their efficient delivery.
Disease Models and Mechanisms 03/2010; 3(5-6):317-32. · 4.96 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Tumors are characterized by extracellular matrix (ECM) remodeling and stiffening. The importance of ECM remodeling to cancer is appreciated; the relevance of stiffening is less clear. We found that breast tumorigenesis is accompanied by collagen crosslinking, ECM stiffening, and increased focal adhesions. Induction of collagen crosslinking stiffened the ECM, promoted focal adhesions, enhanced PI3 kinase (PI3K) activity, and induced the invasion of an oncogene-initiated epithelium. Inhibition of integrin signaling repressed the invasion of a premalignant epithelium into a stiffened, crosslinked ECM and forced integrin clustering promoted focal adhesions, enhanced PI3K signaling, and induced the invasion of a premalignant epithelium. Consistently, reduction of lysyl oxidase-mediated collagen crosslinking prevented MMTV-Neu-induced fibrosis, decreased focal adhesions and PI3K activity, impeded malignancy, and lowered tumor incidence. These data show how collagen crosslinking can modulate tissue fibrosis and stiffness to force focal adhesions, growth factor signaling and breast malignancy.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The tumor microenvironment consists of stromal cells and extracellular factors that evolve in parallel with carcinoma cells. To gain insights into the activities of stromal cell populations, we developed and applied multicolor imaging techniques to analyze the behavior of these cells within different tumor microenvironments in the same live mouse. We found that regulatory T-lymphocytes (Tregs) migrated in proximity to blood vessels. Dendritic-like cells, myeloid cells and carcinoma-associated fibroblasts all exhibited higher motility in the microenvironment at the tumor periphery than within the tumor mass. Since oxygen levels differ between tumor microenvironments, we tested if acute hypoxia could account for the differences in cell migration. Direct visualization revealed that Tregs ceased migration under acute systemic hypoxia, whereas myeloid cells continued migrating. In the same mouse and microenvironment, we experimentally subdivided the myeloid cell population and revealed that uptake of fluorescent dextran defined a low-motility subpopulation expressing markers of tumor-promoting, alternatively activated macrophages. In contrast, fluorescent anti-Gr1 antibodies marked myeloid cells patrolling inside tumor vessels and in the stroma. Our techniques allow real-time combinatorial analysis of cell populations based on spatial location, gene expression, behavior and cell surface molecules within intact tumors. The techniques are not limited to investigations in cancer, but could give new insights into cell behavior more broadly in development and disease.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: How breast cancers are able to disseminate and metastasize is poorly understood. Using a hyperplasia transplant system, we show that tumor dissemination and metastasis occur in discrete steps during tumor progression. Bioinformatic analysis revealed that loss of the transcription factor GATA-3 marked progression from adenoma to early carcinoma and onset of tumor dissemination. Restoration of GATA-3 in late carcinomas induced tumor differentiation and suppressed tumor dissemination. Targeted deletion of GATA-3 in early tumors led to apoptosis of differentiated cells, indicating that its loss is not sufficient for malignant conversion. Rather, malignant progression occurred with an expanding GATA-3-negative tumor cell population. These data indicate that GATA-3 regulates tumor differentiation and suppresses tumor dissemination in breast cancer.
Cancer Cell 03/2008; 13(2):141-52. · 24.76 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Matrix metalloproteinase (MMP) 13 (collagenase 3) is an extracellular matrix remodeling enzyme that is induced in myofibroblasts during the earliest invasive stages of human breast carcinoma, suggesting that it is involved in tumor progression. During progression of mammary carcinomas in the polyoma virus middle T oncogene mouse model (MMTV-PyMT), Mmp13 mRNA was strongly upregulated concurrently with the transition to invasive and metastatic carcinomas. As in human tumors, Mmp13 mRNA was found in myofibroblasts of invasive grade II and III carcinomas, but not in benign grade I and II mammary intraepithelial neoplasias. To determine if MMP13 plays a role in tumor progression, we crossed MMTV-PyMT mice with Mmp13 deficient mice. The absence of MMP13 did not influence tumor growth, vascularization, progression to more advanced tumor stages, or metastasis to the lungs, and the absence of MMP13 was not compensated for by expression of other MMPs or tissue inhibitor of metalloproteinases. However, an increased fraction of thin collagen fibrils was identified in MMTV-PyMT;Mmp13(-/-) compared to MMTV-PyMT;Mmp13(+/+) tumors, showing that collagen metabolism was altered in the absence of MMP13. We conclude that the expression pattern of Mmp13 mRNA in myofibroblasts of invasive carcinomas in the MMTV-PyMT breast cancer model recapitulates the expression pattern observed in human breast cancer. Our results suggest that MMP13 is a marker of carcinoma-associated myofibroblasts of invasive carcinoma, even though it does not make a major contribution to tumor progression in the MMTV-PyMT breast cancer model.
PLoS ONE 02/2008; 3(8):e2959. · 3.73 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Recessive inactivating mutations in human matrix metalloproteinase 2 (MMP2, gelatinase A) are associated with syndromes that include abnormal facial appearance, short stature, and severe bone loss. Mmp2(-/-) mice have only mild aspects of these abnormalities, suggesting that MMP2 function is redundant during skeletal development in the mouse. Here, we report that Mmp2(-/-) mice with additional mutations that render type I collagen resistant to collagenase-mediated cleavage to TC(A) and TC(B) fragments (Col1a1(r/r) mice) have severe developmental defects resembling those observed in MMP2-null humans. Composite Mmp2(-/-);Col1a1(r/r) mice were born in expected Mendelian ratios but were half the size of wild-type, Mmp2(-/-), and Col1a1(r/r) mice and failed to thrive. Furthermore, composite Mmp2(-/-);Col1a1(r/r) animals had very abnormal craniofacial features with shorter snouts, bulging skulls, incompletely developed calvarial bones and unclosed cranial sutures. In addition, trabecular bone mass was reduced concomitant with increased numbers of bone-resorbing osteoclasts and osteopenia. In vitro, MMP2 had a unique ability among the collagenolytic MMPs to degrade mutant collagen, offering a possible explanation for the genetic interaction between Mmp2 and Col1a1(r). Thus, because mutations in the type I collagen gene alter the phenotype of mice with null mutations in Mmp2, we conclude that type I collagen is an important modifier gene for Mmp2. Developmental Dynamics 236:1683-1693, 2007. (c) 2007 Wiley-Liss, Inc.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Sulf-2 is an endosulfatase with activity against glucosamine-6-sulfate modifications within subregions of intact heparin. The enzyme has the potential to modify the sulfation status of extracellular heparan sulfate proteoglycan (HSPG) glycosaminoglycan chains and thereby to regulate interactions with HSPG-binding proteins. In the present investigation, data mining from published studies was employed to establish Sulf-2 mRNA upregulation in human breast cancer. We further found that cultured breast carcinoma cells expressed Sulf-2 mRNA and released enzymatically active proteins into conditioned medium. In two mouse models of mammary carcinoma, Sulf-2 mRNA was upregulated in comparison to its expression in normal mammary gland. Although mRNA was present in normal tissues, Sulf-2 protein was undetectable; it was, however, detected in some premalignant lesions and in tumors. The protein was localized to the epithelial cells of the tumors. In support of the possible mechanistic relevance of Sulf-2 upregulation in tumors, purified recombinant Sulf-2 promoted angiogenesis in the chick chorioallantoic membrane assay.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: It is now becoming apparent that multiple types of stromal cells, including macrophages, mast cells, adipocytes, and fibroblasts make pivotal contributions to carcinogenesis. In the May 6 issue of Cell, Orimo and colleagues (Orimo et al., 2005) show that carcinoma-associated fibroblasts can promote epithelial tumorigenesis by secreting the chemokine SDF-1alpha (CXCL12). SDF-1alpha stimulates carcinoma cell proliferation and recruitment of endothelial precursor cells.
Cancer Cell 07/2005; 7(6):499-500. · 24.76 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: A remarkable change has occurred in the thinking about epithelial-derived cancer in recent years: From almost entirely focusing on oncogenes and tumor suppressor genes has come the realization that the tumor microenvironment is a coconspirator in the carcinogenic process. Many types of stromal cells, including fibroblasts, adipocytes, macrophages, mast cells, and cells of the vascular system, are crucial contributors to epithelial carcinogenesis. Here, we focus on the fibroblast's role in cancer progression and the molecules involved in the communications between the fibroblasts and the cancer cells, including fibroblast secreted protein 1 (FSP-1 or S100A4), transforming growth factor beta (TGF-beta), the chemokine CXCL-12 (stromal derived factor 1 alpha, SDF-1alpha), type I collagen, and matrix metalloproteinase 13 (MMP-13).
Cold Spring Harbor Symposia on Quantitative Biology 02/2005; 70:383-8.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Progression of human cutaneous primary melanoma is, among others, accompanied by de novo expression of activated leukocyte cell adhesion molecule (ALCAM/CD166) and enhanced activity of proteolytic cascades in the invasive, vertical growth phase (VGP) of lesions. The homophilic cell adhesion function of wild-type ALCAM mediates homotypic clustering of melanoma cells and would, thus, antagonize cell release from the primary tumor, an early prerequisite for metastasis. Stable transfection of a transmembrane, amino-terminally truncated ALCAM (DeltaN-ALCAM) into metastatic cells diminished cell clustering mediated by wild-type ALCAM. We have addressed the biological effects of DeltaN-ALCAM on tumorigenicity and found that the relief of cell clustering constraints promoted motility in vitro and the transition from expansive tumor growth to tissue invasion in reconstructed skin in culture. In a transplant tumor model, the changes were reflected in reduced subcutaneous tumor growth and in accelerated, spontaneous lung metastasis. These data indicate that the intact cell adhesion function of ALCAM may both favor primary tumor growth and represent a rate-limiting step for tissue invasion from VGP melanoma. ALCAM induction could, thus, provide an attractive target for proteolysis as a part of a more complex cellular program that couples growth and migration and facilitates dissemination.
Journal of Investigative Dermatology 06/2004; 122(5):1293-301. · 6.19 Impact Factor