A humanized orthotopic tumor microenvironment alters the bone metastatic tropism of prostate cancer cells

Jacqui A. McGovern, Nathalie Bock, Abbas Shafiee, Laure C. Martine, Ferdinand Wagner, Jeremy G. Baldwin, Marietta Landgraf, Christoph A. Lahr, Christoph Meinert, Elizabeth D. Williams, Pamela M. Pollock, Jim Denham, Pamela J. Russell, Gail P. Risbridger, Judith A. Clements, Daniela Loessner, Boris M. Holzapfel, Dietmar W. Hutmacher

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5 Citations (Scopus)


Prostate cancer (PCa) is the second most commonly diagnosed cancer in men, and bone is the most frequent site of metastasis. The tumor microenvironment (TME) impacts tumor growth and metastasis, yet the role of the TME in PCa metastasis to bone is not fully understood. We used a tissue-engineered xenograft approach in NOD-scid IL2Rγnull (NSG) mice to incorporate two levels of humanization; the primary tumor and TME, and the secondary metastatic bone organ. Bioluminescent imaging, histology, and immunohistochemistry were used to study metastasis of human PC-3 and LNCaP PCa cells from the prostate to tissue-engineered bone. Here we show pre-seeding scaffolds with human osteoblasts increases the human cellular and extracellular matrix content of bone constructs, compared to unseeded scaffolds. The humanized prostate TME showed a trend to decrease metastasis of PC-3 PCa cells to the tissue-engineered bone, but did not affect the metastatic potential of PCa cells to the endogenous murine bones or organs. On the other hand, the humanized TME enhanced LNCaP tumor growth and metastasis to humanized and murine bone. Together this demonstrates the importance of the TME in PCa bone tropism, although further investigations are needed to delineate specific roles of the TME components in this context.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1014
Number of pages14
JournalCommunications Biology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 30 Aug 2021

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