Insights into the mechanisms of lymph node metastasis.
The mechanisms by which malignant tumors leave the primary tumor site, invade lymphatics, and metastasize to regional lymph nodes (RLNs) are complex and interrelated. Although the phenomenon of lymph node metastasis has been recognized for over 200 years, the exact mechanisms have only recently been the subject of intense interest and sophisticated experimentation. Sentinel lymph node biopsy has rapidly entered the clinical mainstream for melanoma and breast carcinoma, and this technique has provided confirmation of the orderly anatomic progression of tumor cells from primary site to the RLNs through lymphatic capillaries and trunks. Exciting studies involving the pathophysiology of interstitial fluid pressure in tumors and the peritumoral extracellular matrix have focused on lymphatic flow and tumor microenvironment and microcirculation. Molecular techniques have led to the definition of unique markers found on lymphatic endothelial cells. These markers have enabled scientists to identify peritumoral and intratumoral lymphatics and to visualize the ingrowth of tumor cells into the lumena of lymphatic capillaries. Tumor-secreted cytokines, such as vascular endothelial growth factors (VEGF)-C and -D, bind to VEGF receptors on lymphatic endothelial cells and induce proliferation and growth of new lymphatic capillaries; this process is similar to the well-known mechanism of angiogenesis, which results from the proliferation of new blood vessel capillaries. Lymphangiogenesis is associated with an increased incidence of RLN metastasis, and it is possible that this step is essential to the metastatic process. Directional movement toward lymphatics and lymph nodes appears to follow a chemokine gradient, and it is likely that some tumor cells that express certain types of chemokine receptors are more likely to metastasize to the RLNs. In contrast, tumor cells that do not express specific receptors that are responsive to lymphatic chemokines may not metastasize. New knowledge regarding the molecules involved in these processes should enable improvements in prognostic and possibly therapeutic approaches to the management of malignant tumors. (+info)
B lymphocyte-specific c-Myc expression stimulates early and functional expansion of the vasculature and lymphatics during lymphomagenesis.
Expression of the c-myc proto-oncogene is deregulated in many human cancers. We examined the role of c-Myc in stimulating angiogenesis and lymphangiogenesis in a highly metastatic murine model of Burkitt's lymphoma (E micro -c-myc), where c-Myc is expressed exclusively in B lymphocytes. Immunohistochemical analysis of bone marrow and lymph nodes from young (preneoplastic) E micro -c-myc transgenic mice revealed increased growth of blood vessels, which are functional by dye flow assay. Lymphatic sinuses also increased in size and number within the lymph nodes, as demonstrated by immunostaining for with a lymphatic endothelial marker 10.1.1. The 10.1.1 antibody recognizes VEGFR-2- and VEGFR-3-positive lymphatic sinuses and vessels within lymph nodes, and also recognizes lymphatic vessels in other tissues. Subcutaneously injected dye traveled more efficiently through draining lymph nodes in E micro -c-myc mice, indicating that these hypertrophic lymphatic sinuses increase lymph flow. Purified B lymphocytes and lymphoid tissues from E micro -c-myc mice expressed increased levels of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) by immunohistochemical or immunoblot assays, which could promote blood and lymphatic vessel growth through interaction with VEGFR-2, which is expressed on the endothelium of both vessel types. These results indicate that constitutive c-Myc expression stimulates angiogenesis and lymphangiogenesis, which may promote the rapid growth and metastasis of c-Myc-expressing cancer cells, respectively. (+info)
Comparative evaluation of FGF-2-, VEGF-A-, and VEGF-C-induced angiogenesis, lymphangiogenesis, vascular fenestrations, and permeability.
Several endothelial growth factors induce both blood and lymphatic angiogenesis. However, a systematic comparative study of the impact of these factors on vascular morphology and function has been lacking. In this study, we report a quantitative analysis of the structure and macromolecular permeability of FGF-2-, VEGF-A-, and VEGF-C-induced blood and lymphatic vessels. Our results show that VEGF-A stimulated formation of disorganized, nascent vasculatures as a result of fusion of blood capillaries into premature plexuses with only a few lymphatic vessels. Ultrastructural analysis revealed that VEGF-A-induced blood vessels contained high numbers of endothelial fenestrations that mediated high permeability to ferritin, whereas the FGF-2-induced blood vessels lacked vascular fenestrations and showed only little leakage of ferritin. VEGF-C induced approximately equal amounts of blood and lymphatic capillaries with endothelial fenestrations present only on blood capillaries, mediating a medium level of ferritin leakage into the perivascular space. No endothelial fenestrations were found in FGF-2-, VEGF-A-, or VEGF-C-induced lymphatic vessels. These findings highlight the structural and functional differences between blood and lymphatic vessels induced by FGF-2, VEGF-A, and VEGF-C. Such information is important to consider in development of novel therapeutic strategies using these angiogenic factors. (+info)
Cyclooxygenase-2 induces EP1- and HER-2/Neu-dependent vascular endothelial growth factor-C up-regulation: a novel mechanism of lymphangiogenesis in lung adenocarcinoma.
Cyclooxygenase (COX)-2, the inducible isoform of prostaglandin H synthase, has been implicated in the progression of human lung adenocarcinoma. However, the mechanism underlying COX-2's effect on tumor progression remains largely unknown. Lymphangiogenesis, the formation of new lymphatic vessels, has recently received considerable attention and become a new frontier of tumor metastasis research. Here, we study the interaction between COX-2 and the lymphangiogenic factor, vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF)-C, in human lung cancer cells and their implication in patient outcomes. We developed an isopropyl-beta-D-thiogalactopyranoside-inducible COX-2 gene expression system in human lung adenocarcinoma CL1.0 cells. We found that VEGF-C gene expression but not VEGF-D was significantly elevated in cells overexpressing COX-2. COX-2-mediated VEGF-C up-regulation was commonly observed in a broad array of non-small cell lung cancer cell lines. The use of pharmacological inhibitors or activators and genetic inhibition by EP receptor-antisense oligonucleotides revealed that prostaglandin EP(1) receptor but not other prostaglandin receptors is involved in COX-2-mediated VEGF-C up-regulation. At the mechanistic level, we found that COX-2 expression or prostaglandin E(2) (PGE(2)) treatment could activate the HER-2/Neu tyrosine kinase receptor through the EP(1) receptor-dependent pathway and that this activation was essential for VEGF-C induction. The transactivation of HER-2/Neu by PGE(2) was inhibited by way of blocking the Src kinase signaling using the specific Src family inhibitor, PP1, or transfection with the mutant dominant negative src plasmid. Src kinase was involved in not only the HER-2/Neu transactivation but also the following VEGF-C up-regulation by PGE(2) treatment. In addition, immunohistochemical staining of 59 lung adenocarcinoma specimens showed that COX-2 level was highly correlated with VEGF-C, lymphatic vessels density, and other clinicopathological parameters. Taken together, our results provided evidence that COX-2 up-regulated VEGF-C and promotes lymphangiogenesis in human lung adenocarcinoma via the EP(1)/Src/HER-2/Neu signaling pathway. (+info)
The role of p53 in suppression of KSHV cyclin-induced lymphomagenesis.
Kaposi's sarcoma-associated herpesvirus (KSHV) encodes a cyclin D homolog, K cyclin, that is thought to promote viral oncogenesis. However, expression of K cyclin in cultured cells not only triggers cell cycle progression but also engages the p53 tumor suppressor pathway, which probably restricts the oncogenic potential of K cyclin. Therefore, to assess the tumorigenic properties of K cyclin in vivo, we transgenically targeted expression of K cyclin to the B and T lymphocyte compartments via the E micro promoter/enhancer. Around 17% of E micro -K cyclin animals develop lymphoma by 9 months of age, and all such lymphomas exhibit loss of p53. A critical role of p53 in suppressing K cyclin-induced lymphomagenesis was confirmed by the greatly accelerated onset of B and T lymphomagenesis in all E micro -K cyclin/p53(-/-) mice. However, absence of p53 did not appear to accelerate K cyclin-induced lymphomagenesis by averting apoptosis: E micro -K cyclin/p53(-/-) end-stage lymphomas contained abundant apoptotic cells, and transgenic E micro -K cyclin/p53(-/-) lymphocytes in vitro were not measurably protected from DNA damage-induced apoptosis compared with E micro -K cyclin/p53(wt) cells. Notably, whereas aneuploidy was frequently evident in pre-lymphomatous tissues, end-stage E micro -K cyclin/p53(-/-) tumors showed a near-diploid DNA content with no aberrant centrosome numbers. Nonetheless, such tumor cells did harbor more restricted genomic alterations, such as single-copy chromosome losses or gains or high-level amplifications. Together, our data support a model in which K cyclin-induced genome instability arises early in the pre-tumorigenic lymphocyte population and that loss of p53 licenses subsequent expansion of tumorigenic clones. (+info)
Prognostic significance of intratumoral lymphangiogenesis in squamous cell carcinoma of the oral cavity.
BACKGROUND: Clinicopathologic data demonstrated that the lymphatic system is the main route for solid tumor metastasis. However, the effect of intratumoral lymphangiogenesis (IL) on prognosis in oral carcinoma is still unknown because, until recently, no reliable markers for lymphatic endothelium were available. The current study analyzed the lymphatic vessels in tumor tissue specimens of patients with primary oral carcinoma using the new marker, PA2.26. METHODS: The authors investigated IL in surgical tissue samples of 61 patients with early-stage (Stages I-II) oral carcinoma. The tissue specimens were stained for PA2.26 and the correlation between IL and relevant parameters was analyzed by the Pearson chi-square test. In a univariate analysis using the Kaplan-Meier method, IL was analyzed against survival and disease-free period. Statistical significance of differences between distributions was studied by the log-rank test. Clinicopathologic parameters, including IL, were entered in a multivariate analysis to determine independent prognostic significance. RESULTS: Thirty-three patients had IL. In the follow-up, a strong association was found between IL and locoregional recurrence (30.3 % of the patients with IL and 7.1% of the patients without IL). The presence of IL did not correlate significantly with the pT classification, primary location, or tumor differentiation. IL was found to have no influence on overall survival in univariate analysis, but there was significant association between IL and disease-free survival (P=0.03). Multivariate analysis revealed IL to be the sole independent factor influencing disease-free interval (P=0.02). CONCLUSIONS: These results suggested that IL is associated with locoregional disease recurrence in early-stage oral carcinoma. The presence of IL was a useful discriminator in predicting the outcome of patients with absence of lymph node metastasis. (+info)
Lymphatic density and metastatic spread in human malignant melanoma.
Malignant melanoma (MM), the most common cause of skin cancer deaths, metastasises to regional lymph nodes. In animal models of other cancers, lymphatic growth is associated with metastasis. To assess if lymphatic density (LD) was increased in human MM, and its association with metastasis, we measured LD inside and around archival MM samples (MM, n=21), and compared them with normal dermis (n=11), basal cell carcinoma (BCC, n=6) and Merkel cell carcinoma (MCC), a skin tumour thought to metastasise through a vascular route (MCC, n=6). Lymphatic capillary density (mm(-2)), as determined by immunohistochemical staining with the lymphatic specific marker LYVE-1, was significantly increased around MM (10.0+/-2.5 mm(-2)) compared with normal dermis (2.4+/-0.9 mm(-2)), BCC (3.0+/-0.9 mm(-2)) and MCC (2.4+/-1.4 mm(-2)) (P<0.0001). There was a small decrease in LD inside MM (1.1+/-0.7 mm(-2)) compared with normal dermis, but a highly significant decrease in BCC (0.14+/-0.13) and MCC (0.12+/-2.4) (P<0.01 Kruskal-Wallis). Astonishingly, LD discriminated between melanomas that subsequently metastasised (12.8+/-1.6 mm(-2)) and those that did not (5.4+/-1.1 mm(-2), P<0.01, Mann-Whitney). Lymphatic invasion by tumour cells was seen mainly in MM that metastasised (70% compared with 12% not metastasising, P<0.05 Fisher's Exact test). The results show that LD was increased around MMs, and that LD and tumour cell invasion of lymphatics may help to predict metastasis. To this end, a prognostic index was calculated using LD, lymphatic invasion and thickness that clearly discriminated metastatic from nonmetastatic tumours. (+info)
VEGF-A stimulates lymphangiogenesis and hemangiogenesis in inflammatory neovascularization via macrophage recruitment.
Lymphangiogenesis, an important initial step in tumor metastasis and transplant sensitization, is mediated by the action of VEGF-C and -D on VEGFR3. In contrast, VEGF-A binds VEGFR1 and VEGFR2 and is an essential hemangiogenic factor. We re-evaluated the potential role of VEGF-A in lymphangiogenesis using a novel model in which both lymphangiogenesis and hemangiogenesis are induced in the normally avascular cornea. Administration of VEGF Trap, a receptor-based fusion protein that binds and neutralizes VEGF-A but not VEGF-C or -D, completely inhibited both hemangiogenesis and the outgrowth of LYVE-1(+) lymphatic vessels following injury. Furthermore, both lymphangiogenesis and hemangiogenesis were significantly reduced in mice transgenic for VEGF-A(164/164) or VEGF-A(188/188) (each of which expresses only one of the three principle VEGF-A isoforms). Because VEGF-A is chemotactic for macrophages and we demonstrate here that macrophages in inflamed corneas release lymphangiogenic VEGF-C/VEGF-D, we evaluated the possibility that macrophage recruitment plays a role in VEGF-A-mediated lymphangiogenesis. Either systemic depletion of all bone marrow-derived cells (by irradiation) or local depletion of macrophages in the cornea (using clodronate liposomes) prior to injury significantly inhibited both hemangiogenesis and lymphangiogenesis. We conclude that VEGF-A recruitment of monocytes/macrophages plays a crucial role in inducing inflammatory neovascularization by supplying/amplifying signals essential for pathological hemangiogenesis and lymphangiogenesis. (+info)