Reconstitution of in vivo macrophage-tumor cell pairing and streaming motility on one-dimensional micro-patterned substrates

 Abstract

In mammary tumors, intravital imaging techniques have uncovered an essential role for macrophages during tumor cell invasion and metastasis mediated by an epidermal growth factor (EGF) / colony stimulating factor-1 (CSF-1) paracrine loop. It was previously demonstrated that mammary tumors in mice derived from rat carcinoma cells (MTLn3) exhibited high velocity migration on extracellular matrix (ECM) fibers. These cells form paracrine loop-dependent linear assemblies of alternating host macrophages and tumor cells known as “streams.” Here, we confirm by intravital imaging that similar streams form in close association with ECM fibers in a highly metastatic patient-derived orthotopic mammary tumor (TN1). To understand the in vivo cell motility behaviors observed in streams, an in vitro model of fibrillar tumor ECM utilizing adhesive 1D micropatterned substrates was developed. MTLn3 cells on 1D fibronectin or type I collagen substrates migrated with higher velocity than on 2D substrates and displayed enhanced lamellipodial protrusion and increased motility upon local interaction and pairing with bone marrow-derived macrophages (BMMs). Inhibitors of EGF or CSF-1 signaling disrupted this interaction and reduced tumor cell velocity and protrusion, validating the requirement for an intact paracrine loop. Both TN1 and MTLn3 cells in the presence of BMMs were capable of co-assembling into linear arrays of alternating tumor cells and BMMs that resembled streams in vivo, suggesting the stream assembly is cell autonomous and can be reconstituted on 1D substrates. Our results validate the use of 1D micropatterned substrates as a simple and defined approach to study fibrillar ECM-dependent cell pairing, migration and relay chemotaxis as a complementary tool to intravital imaging.

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Pages
77 - 85
doi
10.4161/intv.22054
Type
Research Paper
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Reconstitution of in vivo macrophage-tumor cell pairing and streaming motility on one-dimensional micro-patterned substrates