Background: Metastasis is associated with poor prognosis for melanoma. The formation of metastases is a multi-step process, in which cancer cells can subsequently acquire the potential to intravasate into the blood or lymph vessels, disseminate through the circulation, extravasate through the endothelium and invade the connective tissue. There is increasing evidence that chemokines have a pivotal role in the dissemination and establishment of melanoma metastasis. Methods: We isolated melanoma cells from melanoma metastasis and performed different migration assays and transendothelial resistance measurements of endothelial monolayers co-cultured with melanoma cells, in order to monitor barrier function and diapedesis and confirmed these results by confocal microscopy. Results: We observed that tumour endothelial cells (ECs) secrete high levels of CXCL9 in all, and CXCL10 in most melanoma metastases. Migration studies revealed that low concentrations of these chemokines induce chemotaxis, whereas high concentrations induce spontaneous migration of melanoma cells (chemokinesis/chemorepulsion) and the disruption of the endothelial barrier, resulting in an accelerated transendothelial migration (TEM). Addition of anti-CXCL9 or anti-CXCR3 antibodies to the co-cultures delayed the TEM of melanoma cells. Conclusion: Our data represent novel mechanisms by which tumour cells in melanoma metastases might use the chemokine-expressing endothelium to leave the tumour and eventually to form additional metastases at distinct sites.
- endothelial monolayer breakdown
- transendothelial migration
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cancer Research