Malignant ascites-derived exosomes promote proliferation and induce carcinoma-associated fibroblasts transition in peritoneal mesothelial cells.
ABSTRACT: Malignant ascites-derived exosomes have been demonstrated to participate in tumor metastasis. In peritoneal metastasis, normal mesothelial cells (MCs) can be converted into carcinoma-associated fibroblasts (CAFs) by mesothelial-mesenchymal transition (MMT). Herein, we evaluated the effect of malignant ascites-derived exosomes on peritoneal MCs in vitro and in vivo experiments to determine whether exosomes could educate MCs and contribute to peritoneal metastasis.Under the treatment of ascites-derived exosomes, peritoneal MCs showed increased ability to proliferate and migrate. Expression of CAFs specific proteins markers in MCs, including fibroblast activation protein (FAP), alpha-smooth muscle actin (?-SMA), and fibronectin, were increased after treatment of exosomes. In clinical samples test, TGF-?1 was found to be overexpressed in both malignant ascites and malignant ascites-derived exosomes, and the high volume of TGF-?1 may be responsible for peritoneum fibrosis. In addition, exosomes can increase xenograft tumor growth by suppressing the inhibitive ability on tumor cells by MCs. Besides, CAFs specific proteins markers including FAP, ?-SMA, and vimentin were increased in clinical peritoneal biopsies. The immunohistochemical staining for mice tumor biopsies also revealed increased expression of fibronectin and FAP, along with decreased expression of E-cadherin and VCAM-1 after exosomes treatment.Thus, malignant ascites-derived exosomes may be of importance in the development of peritoneal metastasis by facilitating MCs to proliferate and convert into CAFs by TGF-?1 induced MMT.
Project description:During peritoneal metastasis, cancer cells spread from abdominal solid tumors, disseminate through the peritoneal fluid and attach to and invade through mesothelial cells (MCs) that line the peritoneum. Intestinal adenocarcinomas originating in the mucosa infiltrate the submucosa, muscle layer, and serosa in order to finally colonize the peritoneal cavity. However, the mechanism by which metastatic cells leave the primary tumor and reach the peritoneal cavity has not been previously described. Hence, we investigate whether MCs lining visceral peritoneum, through a mesothelial-to-mesenchymal transition (MMT), are a source of carcinoma-associated fibroblasts (CAFs), which could contribute to cancer progression toward the peritoneal cavity. CAFs detected in biopsies from patients with superficially invasive colorectal cancer differed from locally advanced tumors. An aberrant accumulation of myofibroblasts expressing mesothelial markers was found in the stroma of deeply infiltrative tumors located in the neighborhood of a frequently activated mesothelium. We suggest that MMT is a key event in the early stages of peritoneal dissemination.
Project description:Vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) is up-regulated during mesothelial to mesenchymal transition (MMT) and has been associated with peritoneal membrane dysfunction in peritoneal dialysis (PD) patients. It has been shown that normal and malignant mesothelial cells (MCs) express VEGF receptors (VEGFRs) and co-receptors and that VEGF is an autocrine growth factor for mesothelioma. Hence, we evaluated the expression patterns and the functional relevance of the VEGF/VEGFRs/co-receptors axis during the mesenchymal conversion of MCs induced by peritoneal dialysis. Omentum-derived MCs treated with TGF-?1 plus IL-1? (in vitro MMT) and PD effluent-derived MCs with non-epithelioid phenotype (ex vivo MMT) showed down-regulated expression of the two main receptors Flt-1/VEGFR-1 and KDR/VEGFR-2, whereas the co-receptor neuropilin-1 (Nrp-1) was up-regulated. The expression of the Nrp-1 ligand semaphorin-3A (Sema-3A), a functional VEGF competitor, was repressed throughout the MMT process. These expression pattern changes were accompanied by a reduction of the proliferation capacity and by a parallel induction of the invasive capacity of MCs that had undergone an in vitro or ex vivo MMT. Treatment with neutralizing anti-VEGF or anti-Nrp-1 antibodies showed that these molecules played a relevant role in cellular proliferation only in naïve omentum-derived MCs. Conversely, treatment with these blocking antibodies, as well as with recombinant Sema-3A, indicated that the switched VEGF/VEGFRs/co-receptors axis drove the enhanced invasion capacity of MCs undergoing MMT. In conclusion, the expression patterns of VEGFRs and co-receptors change in MCs during MMT, which in turn would determine their behaviour in terms of proliferation and invasion in response to VEGF.
Project description:Mesothelial-to-mesenchymal transition (MMT) is an auto-regulated physiological process of tissue repair that in uncontrolled conditions such as peritoneal dialysis (PD) can lead to peritoneal fibrosis. The maximum expression of peritoneal fibrosis induced by PD fluids and other peritoneal processes is the encapsulating peritoneal sclerosis (EPS) for which no specific treatment exists. Tamoxifen, a synthetic estrogen, has successfully been used to treat retroperitoneal fibrosis and EPS associated with PD. Hence, we used in vitro and animal model approaches to evaluate the efficacy of Tamoxifen to inhibit the MMT as a trigger of peritoneal fibrosis. In vitro studies were carried out using omentum-derived mesothelial cells (MCs) and effluent-derived MCs. Tamoxifen blocked the MMT induced by transforming growth factor (TGF)-?1, as it preserved the expression of E-cadherin and reduced the expression of mesenchymal-associated molecules such as snail, fibronectin, collagen-I, ?-smooth muscle actin, and matrix metalloproteinse-2. Tamoxifen-treatment preserved the fibrinolytic capacity of MCs treated with TGF-?1 and decreased their migration capacity. Tamoxifen did not reverse the MMT of non-epitheliod MCs from effluents, but it reduced the expression of some mesenchymal molecules. In mice PD model, we demonstrated that MMT progressed in parallel with peritoneal membrane thickness. In addition, we observed that Tamoxifen significantly reduced peritoneal thickness, angiogenesis, invasion of the compact zone by mesenchymal MCs and improved peritoneal function. Tamoxifen also reduced the effluent levels of vascular endothelial growth factor and leptin. These results demonstrate that Tamoxifen is a therapeutic option to treat peritoneal fibrosis, and that its protective effect is mediated via modulation of the MMT process.
Project description:Peritoneal metastasis consists of a highly complex series of steps, and the details of the underlying molecular mechanism remain largely unclear. In this study, the effects of tumor-derived exosomes (TEX) on the progression of gastric cancers were investigated in peritoneal metastasis.TEX were internalized in both mesothelial and gastric cancer cells in a cellular origin non-specific manner. Internalization of TEX into mesothelial cells promoted significant adhesion between mesothelial and gastric cancer cells, and TEX internalization into gastric cancer cells significantly promoted migratory ability, while internalization of mesothelial cell-derived exosomes did not. Expression of adhesion-related molecules, such as fibronectin 1 (FN1) and laminin gamma 1 (LAMC1), were increased in mesothelial cells after internalization of TEX from gastric cancer cell line and malignant pleural effusion.TEX were extracted from cell-conditioned medium by ultracentrifugation. The effects of TEX on the malignant potential of gastric cancer were investigated in adhesion, invasion, and proliferation assays. PCR array as well as western blotting were performed to determine the underlying molecular mechanisms. The molecular changes in mesothelial cell after internalization of TEX derived from malignant pleural effusion were also confirmed.TEX may play a critical role in the development of peritoneal metastasis of gastric cancer, which may be partially due to inducing increased expression of adhesion molecules in mesothelial cells.
Project description:Despite their emerging relevance to fully understand disease pathogenesis, we have as yet a poor understanding as to how biomechanical signals are integrated with specific biochemical pathways to determine cell behaviour. Mesothelial-to-mesenchymal transition (MMT) markers colocalized with TGF-?1-dependent signaling and yes-associated protein (YAP) activation across biopsies from different pathologies exhibiting peritoneal fibrosis, supporting mechanotransduction as a central driving component of these class of fibrotic lesions and its crosstalk with specific signaling pathways. Transcriptome and proteome profiling of the response of mesothelial cells (MCs) to linear cyclic stretch revealed molecular changes compatible with bona fide MMT, which (i) overlapped with established YAP target gene subsets, and were largely dependent on endogenous TGF-?1 signaling. Importantly, TGF-?1 blockade blunts the transcriptional upregulation of these gene signatures, but not the mechanical activation and nuclear translocation of YAP per se. We studied the role therein of caveolin-1 (CAV1), a plasma membrane mechanotransducer. Exposure of CAV1-deficient MCs to cyclic stretch led to a robust upregulation of MMT-related gene programs, which was blunted upon TGF-?1 inhibition. Conversely, CAV1 depletion enhanced both TGF-?1 and TGFBRI expression, whereas its re-expression blunted mechanical stretching-induced MMT. CAV1 genetic deficiency exacerbated MMT and adhesion formation in an experimental murine model of peritoneal ischaemic buttons. Taken together, these results support that CAV1-YAP/TAZ fine-tune the fibrotic response through the modulation of MMT, onto which TGF-?1-dependent signaling coordinately converges. Our findings reveal a cooperation between biomechanical and biochemical signals in the triggering of MMT, representing a novel potential opportunity to intervene mechanically induced disorders coursing with peritoneal fibrosis, such as post-surgical adhesions.
Project description:Peritoneal fibrosis is a major complication of long-term peritoneal dialysis (PD), leading to ultrafiltration failure and sometimes life threatening encapsulating peritoneal sclerosis. Fibrosis is driven by activated myofibroblasts that are derived, in part, from mesothelial-to-mesenchymal transition (MMT). We aimed to discover novel mediators of MMT and then experimentally exploit them to prevent peritoneal fibrosis. Using an antibody to HBME-1 and streptavidin nanobead technology, we first pioneered a novel method to purify rat mesothelial cells. After exposing mesothelial cells to transforming growth factor β1 (TGFβ1), we undertook RNAseq whole transcriptome analyses and outlined, the expression profile of sorted mesothelial cells at pre- and post- MMT.
Project description:Peritoneal fibrosis is a pathological alteration of the peritoneal membrane occurring in a variety of conditions including peritoneal dialysis (PD), post-surgery adhesions and peritoneal metastases. The acquisition of invasive and pro-fibrotic abilities by mesothelial cells (MCs) through induction of MMT, a cell-specific form of EMT, plays a main role in this process. Aim of this study was to evaluate possible effects of histone deacetylase (HDAC) inhibitors, key components of the epigenetic machinery, in counteracting MMT observed in MCs isolated from effluent of PD patients. HDAC inhibitors with different class/isoform selectivity have been used for pharmacological inhibition. While the effect of other inhibitors was limited to a partial E-cadherin re-expression, MS-275, a HDAC1-3 inhibitor, promoted: (i) downregulation of mesenchymal markers (MMP2, Col1A1, PAI-1, TGF?1, TGF?RI) (ii) upregulation of epithelial markers (E-cadherin, Occludin), (iii) reacquisition of an epithelial-like morphology and (iv) marked reduction of cellular invasiveness. Results were confirmed by HDAC1 genetic silencing. Mechanistically, MS-275 causes: (i) increase of nuclear histone H3 acetylation (ii) rescue of the acetylation profile on E-cadherin promoter, (iii) Snail functional impairment. Overall, our study, pinpointing a role for HDAC1, revealed a new player in the regulation of peritoneal fibrosis, providing the rationale for future therapeutic opportunities.
Project description:Peritoneal dialysis (PD) is a form of renal replacement treatment, which employs the peritoneal membrane (PM) to eliminate toxins that cannot be removed by the kidney. The procedure itself, however, contributes to the loss of the PM ultrafiltration capacity (UFC), leading consequently to the technique malfunction. ?-blockers have been considered deleterious for PM due to their association with loss of UFC and induction of fibrosis. Herein we analyzed the effects of Nebivolol, a new generation of ?1-blocker, on PM alterations induced by PD fluids (PDF).In vitro: We found that mesothelial cells (MCs) express ?1-adrenergic receptor. MCs were treated with TGF-? to induce mesothelial-to-mesenchymal transition (MMT) and co-treated with Nebivolol. Nebivolol reversed the TGF-? effects, decreasing extracellular matrix synthesis, and improved the fibrinolytic capacity, decreasing plasminogen activator inhibitor-1 (PAI-1) and increasing tissue-type plasminogen activator (tPA) supernatant levels. Moreover, Nebivolol partially inhibited MMT and decreased vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) and IL-6 levels in supernatants.In vivo: Twenty-one C57BL/6 mice were divided into 3 groups. Control group carried a catheter without PDF infusion. Study group received intraperitoneally PDF and oral Nebivolol during 30 days. PDF group received PDF alone. Nebivolol maintained the UFC and reduced PM thickness, MMT and angiogenesis promoted by PDF. It also improved the fibrinolytic capacity in PD effluents decreasing PAI-1 and IL-8 and increased tPA levels.Nebivolol protects PM from PDF-induced damage, promoting anti-fibrotic, anti-angiogenic, anti-inflammatory and pro-fibrinolytic effects.