The role of inflammation induced by radiation or lipopolysaccharides in the metastatic process in a mouse model of breast cancer
Mortality from breast cancer is primarily due to metastatic disease, which often appears years after treatment of the primary tumor. Radiation as well as bacterial infection induces inflammation, which by releasing cytokines can be implicated in metastatic processes. Using in vitro and in vivo models, the ability of radiation to awaken dormant lung metastases was assessed as well as the capacity of a bacterial infection to enhance metastatic progression in already proliferating lung metastases. As models, we used the D2.0R (dormant) and D2A1 (proliferative) cell lines, which are derived from spontaneous murine mammary tumors. The ability of radiation to awaken dormant D2.0R mammary cancer cells was assessed in a 3-dimension (3D) cell culture system, which resulted in the formation of microspheres of cancer cells. The addition of prostaglandin E 2 (PGE2 ; 100ng/m1) or conditioned media from irradiated (5 Gy) CALU-3 human bronchial epithelial cells stimulated the proliferation of the dormant D2.0R cells resulting in microspheres with a larger diameter compared to the untreated cells. Regarding the proliferative D2A1 microspheres, their rate of proliferation was not further increased by adding PGE2 or the conditioned media of irradiated CALU-3 cells. In Balb/c mice bearing dormant lung D2.0R micrometastases, our data showed that a fractionated radiation dose (5x7.5 Gy) to the mammary gland resulted in a significant increase in the development of metastases, as measured 42 days post-irradiation by bioluminescent reaction. We also evaluated whether a bacterial infection could stimulate the growth of D2A1 cancer cells. Gram-negative bacteria release the lipopolysaccharide (LPS) that induces an inflammatory response. In lungs of mice treated with LPS, a higher level of interleukin-1? (IL-1?) was measured supporting the induction of an inflammation. This was accompanied by an increase of cell adhesion molecules (VCAM-1 and ICAM-1) 5 hours after treatment. The ability of LPS mediated-inflammation to stimulate the quantity and size of the proliferating D2A1 lung metastases was also demonstrated by optical imaging. In aged mice, a significant increase in total surface area covered by the lung metastases was measured as well as a tendency to have more numerous metastases. Conversely, no difference in tumor size or quantity was observed in young mice, which nevertheless had increased expression in pro-inflammatory mediators and adhesion molecules. In conclusion, our study demonstrated that inflammation increases the awakening of dormant D2.0R microspheres in a 3D in vitro model, while in mice treated with LPS, an age-dependent stimulation of the proliferation and number of D2A1 lung metastases was measured.