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Role of pancreatic stellate cells in pancreatic cancer metastasis


Pancreatic stellate cells (PSCs) produce the stromal reaction in pancreatic cancer (PC), and their interaction with cancer cells facilitates cancer progression. This study investigated the role of human PSCs (hPSCs) in the metastatic process and tumor angiogenesis using both in vivo (orthotopic model) and in vitro (cultured PSC and PC cells) approaches. A sex mismatch study (injection of male hPSCs plus female PC cells into the pancreas of female mice) was conducted to determine whether hPSCs accompany cancer cells to metastatic sites. Metastatic nodules were examined by fluorescent in situ hybridization for the presence of the Y chromosome. Angiogenesis was assessed by i) immunostaining tumors for CD31, an endothelial cell marker; and ii) quantifying human microvascular endothelial cell (HMEC-1) tube formation in vitro on exposure to conditioned media from hPSCs. Transendothelial migration was assessed in vitro by examining the movement of fluorescently labeled hPSCs through an endothelial cell monolayer. Human PSCs i) were found in multiple metastatic sites in each mouse injected with male hPSCs plus female PC cells; ii) increased CD31 expression in primary tumors from mice injected with MiaPaCa-2 and hPSCs and stimulated tube formation by HMEC-1 in vitro; and iii) exhibited transendothelial migration that was stimulated by cancer cells. Human PSCs accompany cancer cells to metastatic sites, stimulate angiogenesis, and are able to intravasate/extravasate to and from blood vessels.

Type Journal
ISBN 1525-2191 (Electronic) 0002-9440 (Linking)
Authors Xu, Z.; Vonlaufen, A.; Phillips, P. A.; Fiala-Beer, E.; Zhang, X.; Yang, L.; Biankin, A. V.; Goldstein, D.; Pirola, R. C.; Wilson, J. S.; Apte, M. V.;
Published Date 2010-11-01
Published Volume 177
Published Issue 5
Published Pages 2585-96
Status Published in-print
DOI ajpath.2010.090899 [pii] 10.2353/ajpath.2010.090899
URL link to publisher's version
OpenAccess link to author's accepted manuscript version