Breast cancer causes death mostly due to distant metastasis. During metastasis, cancer cells create new conditions in which normal tissue structure can be disturbed. Nephronectin, which is the primary ligand for α8β1 integrin, plays an important role in kidney development. There are conflicting findings regarding its role in cancer progression and metastasis, especially in breast carcinoma. The aim of this study was to determine changes in nephronectin expression in primary tumor tissues and metastatic visceral organs, using metastatic and non-metastatic cell lines in a mouse model of breast cancer. In our study, 4T1-Liver Metastatic and 4T1-Heart Metastatic cells, originally derived from 4T1-murine breast carcinoma, and non-metastatic 67NR carcinoma cells were used. Cancer cells were injected orthotopically into the mammary gland of 8–10 week-old Balb-c mice. Primary tumors, lung, liver tissues were collected on 12th and 25th days after the tumor injection. Immunohistochemistry was used to determine expression of nephronectin in tissues. We also investigated the expression levels of the protein by using western blot technique. We found that lung and liver tissue of control animals (not-injected with tumor cells) expressed nephronectin which was lost in animals bearing metastatic tumor for 25 days. In accordance, nephronectin staining of lung and liver was preserved in animals injected with non-metastatic 67NR tumors. These results demonstrate that loss of nephronectin may play an important role in formation metastatic milieu for cancer cells. This is the first study demonstrating that tumor-induced loss of nephronectin expression in visceral organs in which metastatic growth takes place.
Pathology & Oncology Research – Springer Journals
Published: Aug 25, 2017
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