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1.
Integr Biol (Camb) ; 13(4): 87-97, 2021 Apr 20.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-33822934

RESUMO

Innate immune cell infiltration into neoplastic tissue is the first line of defense against cancer and can play a deterministic role in tumor progression. Here, we describe a series of assays, using a reconfigurable microscale assay platform (i.e. Stacks), which allows the study of immune cell infiltration in vitro with spatiotemporal manipulations. We assembled Stacks assays to investigate tumor-monocyte interactions, re-education of activated macrophages, and neutrophil infiltration. For the first time in vitro, the Stacks infiltration assays reveal that primary tumor-associated fibroblasts from specific patients differ from that associated with the benign region of the prostate in their ability to limit neutrophil infiltration as well as facilitate monocyte adhesion and anti-inflammatory monocyte polarization. These results show that fibroblasts play a regulatory role in immune cell infiltration and that Stacks has the potential to predict individual patients' cancer-immune response.

2.
Biomaterials ; 270: 120640, 2021 Mar.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-33592387

RESUMO

In cancer metastasis, extravasation refers to the process where tumor cells exit the bloodstream by crossing the endothelium and invade the surrounding tissue. Tumor cells engage in complex crosstalk with other active players such as the endothelium leading to changes in functional behavior that exert pro-extravasation effects. Most in vitro studies to date have only focused on the independent effects of molecular targets on the functional changes of cancer cell extravasation behavior. However, singular targets cannot combat complex interactions involved in tumor cell extravasation that affects multiple cell types and signaling pathways. In this study, we employ an organotypic microfluidic model of human vasculature to investigate the independent and combined role of multiple upregulated secreted factors resulting from cancer-vascular interactions during cancer cell extravasation. The device consists of a tubular endothelial vessel generated from induced pluripotent stem cell derived endothelial cells within a collagen-fibrinogen matrix with breast cancer cells injected through and cultured along the lumen of the vessel. Our system identified cancer-vascular crosstalk, involving invasive breast cancer cells, that results in increased levels of secreted IL-6, IL-8, and MMP-3. Our model also showed that upregulation of these secreted factors correlates with invasive/metastatic potential of breast cancer cells. We also used therapeutic inhibitors to assess the independent and combined role of multiple signaling factors on the overall changes in functional behavior of both the cancer cells and the endothelium that promote extravasation. Taken together, these results demonstrate the potential of our organotypic model in elucidating mechanisms through which cancer-vascular interactions can promote extravasation, and in conducting functional assessment of therapeutic drugs that prevent extravasation in cancer metastasis.

3.
Sci Adv ; 7(8)2021 Feb.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-33597234

RESUMO

Solid tumors generate a suppressive environment that imposes an overwhelming burden on the immune system. Nutrient depletion, waste product accumulation, hypoxia, and pH acidification severely compromise the capacity of effector immune cells such as T and natural killer (NK) cells to destroy cancer cells. However, the specific molecular mechanisms driving immune suppression, as well as the capacity of immune cells to adapt to the suppressive environment, are not completely understood. Thus, here, we used an in vitro microfluidic tumor-on-a-chip platform to evaluate how NK cells respond to the tumor-induced suppressive environment. The results demonstrated that the suppressive environment created by the tumor gradually eroded NK cell cytotoxic capacity, leading to compromised NK cell surveillance and tumor tolerance. Further, NK cell exhaustion persisted for an extended period of time after removing NK cells from the microfluidic platform. Last, the addition of checkpoint inhibitors and immunomodulatory agents alleviated NK cell exhaustion.

4.
Lab Chip ; 21(6): 1139-1149, 2021 03 21.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-33533390

RESUMO

Melanoma evolution is a complex process. The role epidermal keratinocytes and dermal fibroblasts play in this process and the mechanisms involved in tumor-stroma interactions remain poorly understood. Here, we used a microfluidic platform to evaluate the cross-talk between human primary melanoma cells, keratinocytes and dermal fibroblasts. The microfluidic device included multiple circular chambers separated by a series of narrow connection channels. The microdevice design allowed us to develop a new cell patterning method based on air-walls, removing the need for hydrogel barriers, porous membranes, or external equipment. Using this method, we co-cultured melanoma cells in the presence of keratinocytes and/or dermal fibroblasts. The results demonstrated that the presence of dermal fibroblasts and keratinocytes led to changes in melanoma cell morphology and growth pattern. Molecular analysis revealed changes in the chemokine secretion pattern, identifying multiple secreted factors involved in tumor progression. Finally, optical metabolic imaging showed that melanoma cells, fibroblasts, and keratinocytes exhibited different metabolic features. Additionally, the presence of stromal cells led to a metabolic shift in melanoma cells, highlighting the role the skin microenvironment on melanoma evolution.

5.
Mol Oncol ; 2021 Feb 19.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-33604999

RESUMO

Although therapeutic options for patients with advanced renal cell carcinoma (RCC) have increased in the past decade, no biomarkers are yet available for patient stratification or evaluation of therapy resistance. Given the dynamic and heterogeneous nature of clear cell RCC (ccRCC), tumor biopsies provide limited clinical utility, but liquid biopsies could overcome these limitations. Prior liquid biopsy approaches have lacked clinically relevant detection rates for patients with ccRCC. This study employed ccRCC-specific markers, CAIX and CAXII, to identify circulating tumor cells (CTC) from patients with metastatic ccRCC. Distinct subtypes of ccRCC CTCs were evaluated for PD-L1 and HLA-I expression and correlated with patient response to therapy. CTC enumeration and expression of PD-L1 and HLA-I correlated with disease progression and treatment response, respectively. Longitudinal evaluation of a subset of patients demonstrated potential for CTC enumeration to serve as a pharmacodynamic biomarker. Further evaluation of phenotypic heterogeneity among CTCs is needed to better understand the clinical utility of this new biomarker.

6.
Int J Mol Sci ; 21(23)2020 Nov 28.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-33260673

RESUMO

Tumor-specific metabolic adaptations offer an interesting therapeutic opportunity to selectively destroy cancer cells. However, solid tumors also present gradients of nutrients and waste products across the tumor mass, forcing tumor cells to adapt their metabolism depending on nutrient availability in the surrounding microenvironment. Thus, solid tumors display a heterogenous metabolic phenotype across the tumor mass, which complicates the design of effective therapies that target all the tumor populations present. In this work, we used a microfluidic device to study tumor metabolic vulnerability to several metabolic inhibitors. The microdevice included a central chamber to culture tumor cells in a three-dimensional (3D) matrix, and a lumen in one of the chamber flanks. This design created an asymmetric nutrient distribution across the central chamber, generating gradients of cell viability. The results revealed that tumor cells located in a nutrient-enriched environment showed low to no sensitivity to metabolic inhibitors targeting glycolysis, fatty acid oxidation, or oxidative phosphorylation. Conversely, when cell density inside of the model was increased, compromising nutrient supply, the addition of these metabolic inhibitors disrupted cellular redox balance and led to tumor cell death.

7.
Integr Biol (Camb) ; 12(10): 250-262, 2020 10 16.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-33034643

RESUMO

The prostate tumor microenvironment (TME) is strongly immunosuppressive; it is largely driven by alteration in cell phenotypes (i.e. tumor-associated macrophages and exhausted cytotoxic T cells) that result in pro-tumorigenic conditions and tumor growth. A greater understanding into how these altered immune cell phenotypes are developed and could potentially be reversed would provide important insights into improved treatment efficacy for prostate cancer. Here, we report a microfluidic model of the prostate TME that mimics prostate ducts across various stages of prostate cancer progression, with associated stroma and immune cells. Using this platform, we exposed immune cells to a benign prostate TME or a metastatic prostate TME and investigated their metabolism, gene and cytokine expression. Immune cells exposed to the metastatic TME showed metabolic differences with a higher redox ratio indicating a switch to a more glycolytic metabolic profile. These cells also increased expression of pro-tumor response cytokines that have been shown to increase cell migration and angiogenesis such as Interleukin-1 (IL-1) a and Granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor (GM-CSF). Lastly, we observed decreased TLR, STAT signaling and TRAIL expression, suggesting that phenotypes derived from exposure to the metastatic TME could have an impaired anti-tumor response. This platform could provide a valuable tool for studying immune cell phenotypes in in vitro tumor microenvironments.

8.
Cancer Res ; 80(23): 5408-5423, 2020 Dec 01.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-33093167

RESUMO

Macrophages within the tumor microenvironment (TME) exhibit a spectrum of protumor and antitumor functions, yet it is unclear how the TME regulates this macrophage heterogeneity. Standard methods to measure macrophage heterogeneity require destructive processing, limiting spatiotemporal studies of function within the live, intact 3D TME. Here, we demonstrate two-photon autofluorescence imaging of NAD(P)H and FAD to nondestructively resolve spatiotemporal metabolic heterogeneity of individual macrophages within 3D microscale TME models. Fluorescence lifetimes and intensities of NAD(P)H and FAD were acquired at 24, 48, and 72 hours poststimulation for mouse macrophages (RAW264.7) stimulated with IFNγ or IL4 plus IL13 in 2D culture, confirming that autofluorescence measurements capture known metabolic phenotypes. To quantify metabolic dynamics of macrophages within the TME, mouse macrophages or human monocytes (RAW264.7 or THP-1) were cultured alone or with breast cancer cells (mouse polyoma-middle T virus or primary human IDC) in 3D microfluidic platforms. Human monocytes and mouse macrophages in tumor cocultures exhibited significantly different FAD mean lifetimes and greater migration than monocultures at 24, 48, and 72 hours postseeding. In cocultures with primary human cancer cells, actively migrating monocyte-derived macrophages had greater redox ratios [NAD(P)H/FAD intensity] compared with passively migrating monocytes at 24 and 48 hours postseeding, reflecting metabolic heterogeneity in this subpopulation of monocytes. Genetic analyses further confirmed this metabolic heterogeneity. These results establish label-free autofluorescence imaging to quantify dynamic metabolism, polarization, and migration of macrophages at single-cell resolution within 3D microscale models. This combined culture and imaging system provides unique insights into spatiotemporal tumor-immune cross-talk within the 3D TME. SIGNIFICANCE: Label-free metabolic imaging and microscale culture technologies enable monitoring of single-cell macrophage metabolism, migration, and function in the 3D tumor microenvironment.

9.
Lab Chip ; 20(23): 4420-4432, 2020 11 24.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-33103699

RESUMO

Clear cell renal cell carcinoma (ccRCC) is a common genitourinary cancer associated with the development of abnormal tumor angiogenesis. Although multiple anti-angiogenic therapies have been developed, responses to individual treatment are highly variable between patients. Thus, the use of one-patient clinical trials has been suggested as an alternative to standard trials. We used a microfluidic device to generate organotypic primary patient-specific blood vessel models using normal (NEnC) and tumor-associated primary CD31+ selected cells (TEnC). Our model was able to recapitulate differences in angiogenic sprouting and vessel permeability that characterize normal and tumor-associated vessels. We analyzed the expression profile of vessel models to define vascular normalization in a patient-specific manner. Using this data, we identified actionable targets to normalize TEnC vessel function to a more NEnC-like phenotype. Finally, we tested two of these drugs in our patient-specific models to determine the efficiency in restoring vessel function showing the potential of the model for single-patient clinical trials.

10.
Chem Soc Rev ; 49(17): 6402-6442, 2020 Sep 01.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-32760967

RESUMO

Microfluidic lumen-based systems are microscale models that recapitulate the anatomy and physiology of tubular organs. These technologies can mimic human pathophysiology and predict drug response, having profound implications for drug discovery and development. Herein, we review progress in the development of microfluidic lumen-based models from the 2000s to the present. The core of the review discusses models for mimicking blood vessels, the respiratory tract, the gastrointestinal tract, renal tubules, and liver sinusoids, and their application to modeling organ-specific diseases. We also highlight emerging application areas, such as the lymphatic system, and close the review discussing potential future directions.

11.
Adv Healthc Mater ; 9(16): e2000825, 2020 08.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-32613760

RESUMO

There is a vital need to develop in vitro models of the developing human brain to recapitulate the biological effects that toxic compounds have on the brain. To model perineural vascular plexus (PNVP) in vitro, which is a key stage in embryonic development, human embryonic stem cells (hESC)-derived endothelial cells (ECs), neural progenitor cells, and microglia (MG) with primary pericytes (PCs) in synthetic hydrogels in a custom-designed microfluidics device are cocultured. The formation of a vascular plexus that includes networks of ECs (CD31+, VE-cadherin+), MG (IBA1+), and PCs (PDGFRß+), and an overlying neuronal layer that includes differentiated neuronal cells (ßIII Tubulin+, GFAP+) and radial glia (Nestin+, Notch2NL+), are characterized. Increased brain-derived neurotrophic factor secretion and differential metabolite secretion by the vascular plexus and the neuronal cells over time are consistent with PNVP functionality. Multiple concentrations of developmental toxicants (teratogens, microglial disruptor, and vascular network disruptors) significantly reduce the migration of ECs and MG toward the neuronal layer, inhibit formation of the vascular network, and decrease vascular endothelial growth factor A (VEGFA) secretion. By quantifying 3D cell migration, metabolic activity, vascular network disruption, and cytotoxicity, the PNVP model may be a useful tool to make physiologically relevant predictions of developmental toxicity.

12.
SLAS Technol ; : 2472630320921173, 2020 Jun 19.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-32552316

RESUMO

Over the past decade, induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) have become a major focus of stem cell and developmental biology research, offering researchers a clinically relevant source of cells that are amenable to genetic engineering approaches. Though stem cells are promising for both research and commercial endeavors, iPSC-based assays require tedious protocols that include complex treatments, expensive reagents, and specialized equipment that limit their integration into academic curricula and cell biology research groups. Expanding on existing Kit-On-A-Lid-Assay (KOALA) technologies, we have developed a self-contained, injection molded, pipette-less iPSC culture and differentiation platform that significantly reduces associated costs and labor of stem cell maintenance and differentiation. The KOALA kit offers users the full range of iPSC culture necessities, including cell cryopreservation, media exchanges, differentiation, endpoint analysis, and a new capability, cell passaging. Using the KOALA kit, we were able to culture ~20,000 iPSCs per microchannel for at least 7 days, while maintaining stable expression of stemness markers (SSEA4 and Oct4) and normal iPSC phenotype. We also adapted protocols for differentiating iPSCs into neuroepithelial cells, cardiomyocytes, and definitive endodermal cells, a cell type from each germ layer of human development.

13.
Sci Adv ; 6(16): eaay9919, 2020 Apr.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-32494607

RESUMO

Recently, the functionality of under oil open microfluidics was expanded from droplet-based operations to include lateral flow in under oil aqueous channels. However, the resolution of the under oil fluidic channels reported so far is still far from comparable with that of closed-channel microfluidics (millimeters versus micrometers). Here, enabled by exclusive liquid repellency and an under oil sweep technique, open microchannels can now be prepared under oil (rather than in air), which shrinks the channel dimensions up to three orders of magnitude compared to previously reported techniques. Spatial trapping of different cellular samples and advanced control of mass transport (i.e., enhanced upper limit of flow rate, steady flow with passive pumping, and reversible fluidic valves) were achieved with open-channel designs. We apply these functional advances to enable dynamic measurements of dispersion from a pathogenic fungal biofilm. The ensemble of added capabilities reshapes the potential application space for open microfluidics.

14.
Cancers (Basel) ; 12(5)2020 05 06.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-32384738

RESUMO

The extracellular matrix (ECM) composition greatly influences cancer progression, leading to differential invasion, migration, and metastatic potential. In breast cancer, ECM components, such as fibroblasts and ECM proteins, have the potential to alter cancer cell migration. However, the lack of in vitro migration models that can vary ECM composition limits our knowledge of how specific ECM components contribute to cancer progression. Here, a microfluidic model was used to study the effect of 3D heterogeneous ECMs (i.e., fibroblasts and different ECM protein compositions) on the migration distance of a highly invasive human breast cancer cell line, MDA-MB-231. Specifically, we show that in the presence of normal breast fibroblasts, a fibronectin-rich matrix induces more cancer cell migration. Analysis of the ECM revealed the presence of ECM tunnels. Likewise, cancer-stromal crosstalk induced an increase in the secretion of metalloproteinases (MMPs) in co-cultures. When MMPs were inhibited, migration distance decreased in all conditions except for the fibronectin-rich matrix in the co-culture with human mammary fibroblasts (HMFs). This model mimics the in vivo invasion microenvironment, allowing the examination of cancer cell migration in a relevant context. In general, this data demonstrates the capability of the model to pinpoint the contribution of different components of the tumor microenvironment (TME).

15.
Lab Chip ; 20(9): 1586-1600, 2020 05 07.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-32297896

RESUMO

Lymphatic vessels (LVs) have been suggested as a preferential conduit for metastatic progression in breast cancer, where a correlation between the occurrence of lymph node metastasis and an increased extracellular matrix (ECM) density has been reported. However, the effect of ECM density on LV function is largely unknown. To better understand these effects, we used a microfluidic device to recreate tubular LVs in a collagen type I matrix. The density of the matrix was tailored to mimic normal breast tissue using a low-density collagen (LD-3 mg mL-1) and cancerous breast tissue using a high-density collagen (HD-6 mg mL-1). We investigated the effect of ECM density on LV morphology, growth, cytokine secretion, and barrier function. LVs cultured in HD matrices showed morphological changes as compared to LVs cultured in a LD matrix. Specifically, LVs cultured in HD matrices had a 3-fold higher secretion of the pro-inflammatory cytokine, IL-6, and a leakier phenotype, suggesting LVs acquired characteristics of activated vessels. Interestingly, LV leakiness was mitigated by blocking the IL-6 receptor on the lymphatic ECs, maintaining endothelium permeability at similar levels of LV cultured in a LD matrix. To recreate a more in vivo microenvironment, we incorporated metastatic breast cancer cells (MDA-MB-231) into the LD and HD matrices. For HD matrices, co-culture with MDA-MB-231 cells exacerbated vessel leakiness and secretion of IL-6. In summary, our data suggest that (1) ECM density is an important microenvironmental cue that affects LV function in the breast tumor microenvironment (TME), (2) dense matrices condition LVs towards an activated phenotype and (3) blockade of IL-6 signaling may be a potential therapeutic target to mitigate LV dysfunction. Overall, modeling LVs and their interactions with the TME can help identify novel therapeutic targets and, in turn, advance therapeutic discovery.

16.
Integr Biol (Camb) ; 12(2): 21-33, 2020 03 06.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-32118264

RESUMO

Accumulating evidence suggests that our ability to predict chemical effects on breast cancer is limited by a lack of physiologically relevant in vitro models; the typical in vitro breast cancer model consists of the cancer cell and excludes the mammary microenvironment. As the effects of the microenvironment on cancer cell behavior becomes more understood, researchers have called for the integration of the microenvironment into in vitro chemical testing systems. However, given the complexity of the microenvironment and the variety of platforms to choose from, identifying the essential parameters to include in a chemical testing platform is challenging. This review discusses the need for more complex in vitro breast cancer models and outlines different approaches used to model breast cancer in vitro. We provide examples of the microenvironment modulating breast cancer cell responses to chemicals and discuss strategies to help pinpoint what components should be included in a model.

17.
Cancer Gene Ther ; 27(12): 898-909, 2020 Dec.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-32029905

RESUMO

Surgical resection is the only cure for neuroendocrine tumors (NETs). However, widespread metastases have already occured by the time of initial diagnosis in many cases making complete surgical removal impossible. We developed a recombinant heavy-chain receptor binding domain (rHCR) of botulinum neurotoxin type A that can specifically target synaptic vesicle 2 (SV2), a surface receptor abundantly expressed in multiple neuroendocrine tumors. Expression of neuroendocrine differentiation markers chromogranin A (CgA) and achaete-scute complex 1 (ASCL1) were signficantly reduced when treated with rHCR. rHCR conjugated to the antimitotic agent monomethyl auristatin E (MMAE) significantly suppressed proliferation of pancreatic carcinoid (BON) and medullary thyroid cancer cells (MZ) at concentrations of 500 and 300 nM respectively, while no growth suppression was observed in pulmonary fibroblasts and cortical neuron control cell lines. In vivo, rHCR-MMAE significantly reduced tumor volume in mouse xenografts with no observed adverse effects. These data suggest recombinant HCR (rHCR) of BoNT/A preferentially targets neuroendocrine cancer without the neurotoxicity of the full BoNT/A and that SV2 is a specific and promising target for delivering drugs to neuroendocrine tumors.

18.
SLAS Technol ; 25(2): 162-176, 2020 04.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-31983266

RESUMO

Comprehensive analysis of tumor heterogeneity requires robust methods for the isolation and analysis of single cells from patient samples. An ideal approach would be fully compatible with downstream analytic methods, such as advanced genomic testing. These endpoints necessitate the use of live cells at high purity. A multitude of microfluidic circulating tumor cell (CTC) enrichment technologies exist, but many of those perform bulk sample enrichment and are not, on their own, capable of single-cell interrogation. To address this, we developed an affordable semiautomated single-cell aspirator (SASCA) to further enrich rare-cell populations from a specialized microwell array, per their phenotypic markers. Immobilization of cells within microwells, integrated with a real-time image processing software, facilitates the detection and precise isolation of targeted cells that have been optimally seeded into the microwells. Here, we demonstrate the platform capabilities through the aspiration of target cells from an impure background population, where we obtain purity levels of 90%-100% and demonstrate the enrichment of the target population with high-quality RNA extraction. A range of low cell numbers were aspirated using SASCA before undergoing whole transcriptome and genome analysis, exhibiting the ability to obtain endpoints from low-template inputs. Lastly, CTCs from patients with castration-resistant prostate cancer were isolated with this platform and the utility of this method was confirmed for rare-cell isolation. SASCA satisfies a need for an affordable option to isolate single cells or highly purified subpopulations of cells to probe complex mechanisms driving disease progression and resistance in patients with cancer.

20.
Adv Healthc Mater ; 9(3): e1900925, 2020 02.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-31894641

RESUMO

Breast tumor progression is a complex process involving intricate crosstalk between the primary tumor and its microenvironment. In the context of breast tumor-lymphatic interactions, it is unclear how breast cancer cells alter the gene expression of lymphatic endothelial cells and how these transcriptional changes potentiate lymphatic dysfunction. Thus, there is a need for in vitro lymphatic vessel models to study these interactions. In this work, a tumor-lymphatic microfluidic model is developed to study the differential conditioning of lymphatic vessels by estrogen receptor-positive (i.e., MCF7) and triple-negative (i.e., MDA-MB-231) breast cancer cells. The model consists of a lymphatic endothelial vessel cultured adjacently to either MCF7 or MDA-MB-231 cells. Quantitative transcriptional analysis reveals expression changes in genes related to vessel growth, permeability, metabolism, hypoxia, and apoptosis in lymphatic endothelial cells cocultured with breast cancer cells. Interestingly, these changes are different in the MCF7-lymphatic cocultures as compared to the 231-lymphatic cocultures. Importantly, these changes in gene expression correlate to functional responses, such as endothelial barrier dysfunction. These results collectively demonstrate the utility of this model for studying breast tumor-lymphatic crosstalk for multiple breast cancer subtypes.

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