Browsing by Subject "MICROENVIRONMENT"

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  • Kaipio, Katja; Chen, Ping; Roering, Pia; Huhtinen, Kaisa; Mikkonen, Piia; Östling, Päivi; Lehtinen, Laura; Mansuri, Naziha; Korpela, Taina; Potdar, Swapnil; Hynninen, Johanna; Auranen, Annika; Grénman, Seija; Wennerberg, Krister; Hautaniemi, Sampsa; Carpén, Olli (2020)
    Poor chemotherapy response remains a major treatment challenge for high-grade serous ovarian cancer (HGSC). Cancer stem cells are the major contributors to relapse and treatment failure as they can survive conventional therapy. Our objectives were to characterise stemness features in primary patient-derived cell lines, correlate stemness markers with clinical outcome and test the response of our cells to both conventional and exploratory drugs. Tissue and ascites samples, treatment-naive and/or after neoadjuvant chemotherapy, were prospectively collected. Primary cancer cells, cultured under conditions favouring either adherent or spheroid growth, were tested for stemness markers; the same markers were analysed in tissue and correlated with chemotherapy response and survival. Drug sensitivity and resistance testing was performed with 306 oncology compounds. Spheroid growth condition HGSC cells showed increased stemness marker expression (including aldehyde dehydrogenase isoform I; ALDH1A1) as compared with adherent growth condition cells, and increased resistance to platinum and taxane. A set of eight stemness markers separated treatment-naive tumours into two clusters and identified a distinct subgroup of HGSC with enriched stemness features. Expression of ALDH1A1, but not most other stemness markers, was increased after neoadjuvant chemotherapy and its expression in treatment-naive tumours correlated with chemoresistance and reduced survival. In drug sensitivity and resistance testing, five compounds, including two PI3K-mTOR inhibitors, demonstrated significant activity in both cell culture conditions. Thirteen compounds, including EGFR, PI3K-mTOR and aurora kinase inhibitors, were more toxic to spheroid cells than adherent cells. Our results identify stemness markers in HGSC that are associated with a decreased response to conventional chemotherapy and reduced survival if expressed by treatment-naive tumours. EGFR, mTOR-PI3K and aurora kinase inhibitors are candidates for targeting this cell population. (c) 2019 Pathological Society of Great Britain and Ireland. Published by John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
  • Stock, Kristin; Estrada, Marta F.; Vidic, Suzana; Gjerde, Kjersti; Rudisch, Albin; Santo, Vitor E.; Barbier, Michael; Blom, Sami; Arundkar, Sharath C.; Selvam, Irwin; Osswald, Annika; Stein, Yan; Gruenewald, Sylvia; Brito, Catarina; van Weerden, Wytske; Rotter, Varda; Boghaert, Erwin; Oren, Moshe; Sommergruber, Wolfgang; Chong, Yolanda; de Hoogt, Ronald; Graeser, Ralph (2016)
    Two-dimensional (2D) cell cultures growing on plastic do not recapitulate the three dimensional (3D) architecture and complexity of human tumors. More representative models are required for drug discovery and validation. Here, 2D culture and 3D mono-and stromal co-culture models of increasing complexity have been established and cross-comparisons made using three standard cell carcinoma lines: MCF7, LNCaP, NCI-H1437. Fluorescence-based growth curves, 3D image analysis, immunohistochemistry and treatment responses showed that end points differed according to cell type, stromal co-culture and culture format. The adaptable methodologies described here should guide the choice of appropriate simple and complex in vitro models.
  • Patrikoski, Mimmi; Lee, Michelle Hui Ching; Makinen, Laura; Ang, Xiu Min; Mannerström, Bettina; Raghunath, Michael; Miettinen, Susanna (2017)
    Microenvironment plays an important role for stem cell proliferation and differentiation. Macromolecular crowding (MMC) was recently shown to assist stem cells in forming their own matrix microenvironment in vitro. The ability of MMC to support adipose stem cell (ASC) proliferation, metabolism, and multilineage differentiation was studied under different conditions: fetal bovine serum- (FBS-) and human serum- (HS-) based media and xeno- and serum-free (XF/SF) media. Furthermore, the immunophenotype of ASCs under MMC was evaluated. The proliferative capacity of ASCs under MMC was attenuated in each condition. However, osteogenic differentiation was enhanced under MMC, shown by increased deposition of mineralized matrix in FBS and HS cultures. Likewise, significantly greater lipid droplet accumulation and increased collagen IV deposition indicated enhanced adipogenesis under MMC in FBS and HS cultures. In contrast, chondrogenic differentiation was attenuated in ASCs expanded under MMC. The ASC immunophenotype was maintained under MMC with significantly higher expression of CD54. However, MMC impaired metabolic activity and differentiation capacity of ASCs in XF/SF conditions. Both the supportive and inhibitory effects of MMC on ASC are culture condition dependent. In the presence of serum, MMC maintains ASC immunophenotype and enhances adipogenic and osteogenic differentiation at the cost of reduced proliferation.
  • Mannerström, Bettina; Kornilov, Roman; Abu-Shahba, Ahmed G.; Chowdhury, Iftekhar M.; Sinha, Snehadri; Seppänen-Kaijansinkko, Riitta; Kaur, Sippy (2019)
    Extracellular vesicles (EVs) are central to intercellular communication and play an important role in cancer progression and development. Osteosarcoma (OS) is an aggressive bone tumour, characterized by the presence of malignant mesenchymal cells. The specific tumour-driving genetic alterations that are associated with OS development are currently poorly understood. Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) of osteogenic lineage have been postulated as likely candidates as the cells of origin for OS, thus indicating that MSCs and OS stroma cells may be related cell types. Therefore, this study set out to examine the EV-mediated intercellular crosstalk of MSCs and OS. MSCs and pre-osteoblasts were treated with OS-EVs at different time points, and the epigenetic signature of OS-EVs was assessed by methylation analysis of LINE-1 (long interspersed element) and tumour suppressor genes. In addition, surface markers and expression of specific genes were also evaluated. Our data indicated that OS-EVs mediated LINE-1 hypomethylation in MSCs, whereas an opposite effect was seen in pre-osteoblasts, indicating that MSCs but not pre-osteoblasts were susceptible to epigenetic transformation. Thus, OS-EVs modulated the fate of MSCs by modulating the epigenetic status, and also influenced the expression of genes related to bone microenvironment remodelling. Overall, this study provided evidence that epigenetic regulation appears to be an early event in the transformation of MSCs during the development of OS. Elucidating the mechanisms of EV-mediated communication may lead to new avenues for therapeutic exploitation.
  • Salmenperä, Pertteli; Karhemo, Piia-Riitta; Rasanen, Kati; Laakkonen, Pirjo; Vaheri, Antti (2016)
    Stromal fibroblasts have an important role in regulating tumor progression. Normal and quiescent fibroblasts have been shown to restrict and control cancer cell growth, while cancer-associated, i.e. activated fibroblasts have been shown to enhance proliferation and metastasis of cancer cells. In this study we describe generation of quiescent fibroblasts in multicellular spheroids and their effects on squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) growth in soft-agarose and xenograft models. Quiescent phenotype of fibroblasts was determined by global down-regulation of expression of genes related to cell cycle and increased expression of p27. Interestingly, microarray analysis showed that fibroblast quiescence was associated with similar secretory phenotype as seen in senescence and they expressed senescence-associated-beta-galactosidase. Quiescent fibroblasts spheroids also restricted the growth of RT3 SCC cells both in softagarose and xenograft models unlike proliferating fibroblasts. Restricted tumor growth was associated with marginally increased tumor cell senescence and cellular differentiation, showed with senescenceassociated-beta-galactosidase and cytokeratin 7 staining. Our results show that the fibroblasts spheroids can be used as a model to study cellular quiescence and their effects on cancer cell progression. (C) 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
  • Brück, Oscar; Dufva, Olli; Hohtari, Helena; Blom, Sami; Turkki, Riku; Ilander, Mette; Kovanen, Panu; Pallaud, Celine; Ramos, Pedro Marques; Lähteenmäki, Hanna; Välimäki, Katja; El Missiry, Mohamed; Ribeiro, Antonio; Kallioniemi, Olli; Porkka, Kimmo; Pellinen, Teijo; Mustjoki, Satu (2020)
    The immunologic microenvironment in various solid tumors is aberrant and correlates with clinical survival. Here, we present a comprehensive analysis of the immune environment of acute myeloid leukemia (AML) bone marrow (BM) at diagnosis. We compared the immunologic landscape of formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded BM trephine samples from AML (n = 69), chronic myeloid leukemia (CML; n = 56), and B-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia (B-ALL) patients (n 5 52) at diagnosis to controls (n = 12) with 30 immunophenotype markers using multiplex immunohistochemistry and computerized image analysis. We identified distinct immunologic profiles specific for leukemia subtypes and controls enabling accurate classification of AML (area under the curve [AUC] = 1.0), CML (AUC = 0.99), B-ALL (AUC = 0.96), and control subjects (AUC = 1.0). Interestingly, 2 major immunologic AML clusters differing in age, T-cell receptor clonality, and survival were discovered. A low proportion of regulatory T cells and pSTAT(+)cMAF(-) monocytes were identified as novel biomarkers of superior event-free survival in intensively treated AML patients. Moreover, we demonstrated that AML BM and peripheral blood samples are dissimilar in terms of immune cell phenotypes. To conclude, our study shows that the immunologic landscape considerably varies by leukemia subtype suggesting disease-specific immunoregulation. Furthermore, the association of the AML immune microenvironment with clinical parameters suggests a rationale for including immunologic parameters to improve disease classification or even patient risk stratification.
  • Kestilä, I.; Thevenot, J.; Finnilä, M. A.; Karhula, S. S.; Hadjab, I.; Kauppinen, S.; Garon, M.; Quenneville, E.; Haapea, M.; Rieppo, L.; Pritzker, K. P.; Buschmann, M. D.; Nieminen, H. J.; Saarakkala, S. (2018)
    Objective: The aims of this study were: to 1) develop a novel sample processing protocol to visualize human articular cartilage (AC) chondrons using micro-computed tomography (mu CT), 2) develop and validate an algorithm to quantify the chondron morphology in 3D, and 3) compare the differences in chondron morphology between intact and osteoarthritic AC. Method: The developed protocol is based on the dehydration of samples with hexamethyldisilazane (HMDS), followed by imaging with a desktop mCT. Chondron density and depth, as well as volume and sphericity, were calculated in 3D with a custom-made and validated algorithm employing semiautomatic chondron selection and segmentation. The quantitative parameters were analyzed at three AC depth zones (zone 1: 0-10%; zone 2: 10-40%; zone 3: 40-100%) and grouped by the OARSI histological grades (OARSI grades 0-1.0, n = 6; OARSI grades 3.0-3.5, n = 6). Results: After semi-automatic chondron selection and segmentation, 1510 chondrons were approved for 3D morphometric analyses. The chondrons especially in the deeper tissue (zones 2 and 3) were significantly larger (P Conclusion: We have developed a novel sample processing protocol for chondron imaging in 3D, as well as a high-throughput algorithm to semi-automatically quantify chondron/ chondrocyte 3D morphology in AC. Our results also suggest that 3D chondron morphology is affected by the progression of osteoarthritis (OA). (c) 2018 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd on behalf of Osteoarthritis Research Society International. This is an open access article under the CC BY license (
  • Salmiheimo, Aino N. E.; Mustonen, Harri K.; Vainionpaa, Sanna A. A.; Shen, Zhanlong; Kemppainen, Esko A. J.; Seppanen, Hanna E.; Puolakkainen, Pauli A. (2016)
    Recent studies suggest that pro-inflammatory type M1 macrophages inhibit tumor progression and that anti-inflammatory M2 macrophages enhance it. The aim of this study was to examine the interaction of type M1 and M2 macrophages with pancreatic cancer cells. We studied the migration rate of fluorescein stained pancreatic cancer cells on Matrigel cultured alone or with Granulocyte- Macrophage Colony Stimulating Factor (GM-CSF) differentiated macrophages or with Macrophage Colony Stimulating Factor (M-CSF) differentiated macrophages, skewing the phenotype towards pro- and anti-inflammatory direction, respectively. Macrophage differentiation was assessed with flow cytometry and the cytokine secretion in cell cultures with cytokine array. Both GM-CSF and M-CSF differentiated macrophages increased the migration rate of primary pancreatic adenocarcinoma cell line (MiaPaCa-2) and metastatic cell line (HPAF-II). Stimulation with IL6 or IL4+ LPS reversed the macrophages' increasing effect on the migration rate of Mi-aPaCa-2 completely and partly of HPAF-II. Co-culture with MiaPaCa-2 reduced the inflammatory cytokine secretion of GM-CSF differentiated macrophages. Co-culture of macrophages with pancreatic cancer cells seem to change the inflammatory cytokine profile of GM-CSF differentiated macrophages and this might explain why also GM-CSF differentiated macrophages promoted the invasion. Adding IL6 or IL4+ LPS to the cell culture with MiaPaCa-2 and GM-CSF or M-CSF differentiated macrophages increased the secretion of inflammatory cytokines and this could contribute to the reversion of the macrophage induced increase of cancer cell migration rate.
  • Hintsala, Hanna-Riikka; Jokinen, Elina; Haapasaari, Kirsi-Maria; Moza, Monica; Ristimaki, Ari; Soini, Ylermi; Koivunen, Jussi; Karihtala, Peeter (2016)
    Background/Aim: Increased expression and prognostic significance of major redox regulator nuclear factor erythroid-2-related factor (Nrf2) is recognized in many cancers. Our aim was to investigate the role of oxidative stress markers in melanoma. Materials and Methods: We characterized the immunohistochemical expression of Nrf2, kelch-like ECH-associated protein 1 (Keap1), BRAF(V600E), 8-hydroxy-2'-deoxyguanosine (8-OHdG) and nitrotyrosine in 36 nevi, 14 lentigo maligna and 71 malignant melanomas. We measured Nrf2 expression in melanoma cell lines and conducted cytotoxicity assays combining BRAF/NRAS ablation and H2O2 treatment. Results: Nuclear Nrf2 expression in melanoma correlated with deeper Breslow (p
  • Acheva, Anna; Haghdoost, Siamak; Sollazzo, Alice; Launonen, Virpi; Kämäräinen, Meerit (2019)
    The aim of the study was to investigate the role of a microenvironment in the induction of epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT) as a sign of early stages of carcinogenesis in human lung epithelial cell lines after protracted low-dose rate gamma-radiation exposures. BEAS-2B and HBEC-3KT lung cell lines were irradiated with low-dose rate gamma-rays (Cs-137, 1.4 or 14 mGy/h) to 0.1 or 1 Gy with or without adding TGF-beta. TGF-beta-treated samples were applied as positive EMT controls and tested in parallel to find out if the radiation has a potentiating effect on the EMT induction. To evaluate the effect of the stromal component, the epithelial cells were irradiated in cocultures with stromal MRC-9 lung fibroblasts. On day 3 post treatment, the EMT markers: alpha-SMA, vimentin, fibronectin, and E-cadherin, were analyzed. The oxidative stress levels were evaluated by 8-oxo-dG analysis in both epithelial and fibroblast cells. The protracted exposure to low Linear Energy Transfer (LET) radiation at the total absorbed dose of 1 Gy was able to induce changes suggestive of EMT. The results show that the presence of the stromal component and its signaling (TGF-beta) in the cocultures enhances the EMT. Radiation had a minor cumulative effect on the TGF-beta-induced EMT with both doses. The oxidative stress levels were higher than the background in both epithelial and stromal cells post chronic irradiation (0.1 and 1 Gy); as for the BEAS-2B cell line, the increase was statistically significant. We suggest that the induction of EMT in bronchial epithelial cells by radiation requires more than single acute exposure and the presence of stromal component might enhance the effect through free radical production and accumulation.
  • Karihtala, Kristiina; Leivonen, Suvi-Katri; Brück, Oscar; Karjalainen-Lindsberg, Marja-Liisa; Mustjoki, Satu; Pellinen, Teijo; Leppä, Sirpa (2020)
    Tumor microenvironment and immune escape affect pathogenesis and survival in classical Hodgkin lymphoma (cHL). While tumor-associated macrophage (TAM) content has been associated with poor outcomes, macrophage-derived determinants with clinical impact have remained undefined. Here, we have used multiplex immunohistochemistry and digital image analysis to characterize TAM immunophenotypes with regard to expression of checkpoint molecules programmed cell death ligand 1 (PD-L1) and indoleamine 2,3-dioxygenase 1 (IDO-1) from the diagnostic tumor tissue samples of 130 cHL patients, and correlated the findings with clinical characteristics and survival. We show that a large proportion of TAMs express PD-L1 (CD68(+), median 32%; M2 type CD163(+), median 22%), whereas the proportion of TAMs expressing IDO-1 is lower (CD68(+), median 5.5%; CD163(+), median 1.4%). A high proportion of PD-L1 and IDO-1 expressing TAMs from all TAMs (CD68(+)), or from CD163(+) TAMs, is associated with inferior outcome. In multivariate analysis with age and stage, high proportions of PD-L1(+) and IDO-1(+) TAMs remain independent prognostic factors for freedom from treatment failure (PD-L1(+)CD68(+)/CD68(+), HR = 2.63, 95% CI 1.17-5.88, p = 0.019; IDO-1(+)CD68(+)/CD68(+), HR = 2.48, 95% CI 1.03-5.95, p = 0.042). In contrast, proportions of PD-L1(+) tumor cells, all TAMs or PD-L1(-) and IDO-1(-) TAMs are not associated with outcome. The findings implicate that adverse prognostic impact of TAMs is checkpoint-dependent in cHL.
  • Nugroho, Robertus Wahyu N.; Harjumäki, Riina; Zhang, Xue; Lou, Yan-Ru; Yliperttula, Marjo; Valle-Delgado, Juan Jose; Österberg, Monika (2019)
    Biomaterials of different nature have been and are widely studied for various biomedical applications. In many cases, biomaterial assemblies are designed to mimic biological systems. Although biomaterials have been thoroughly characterized in many aspects, not much quantitative information on the molecular level interactions between different biomaterials is available. That information is very important, on the one hand, to understand the properties of biological systems and, on the other hand, to develop new composite biomaterials for special applications. This work presents a systematic, quantitative analysis of self- and cross-interactions between films of collagen I (Col I), collagen IV (Col IV), laminin (LN-521), and cellulose nanofibrils (CNF), that is, biomaterials of different nature and structure that either exist in biological systems (e.g., extracellular matrices) or have shown potential for 3D cell culture and tissue engineering. Direct surface forces and adhesion between biomaterials-coated spherical micro-particles and flat substrates were measured in phosphate-buffered saline using an atomic force microscope and the colloidal probe technique. Different methods (Langmuir-Schaefer deposition, spin-coating, or adsorption) were applied to completely coat the flat substrates and the spherical micro particles with homogeneous biomaterial films. The adhesion between biomaterials films increased with the time that the films were kept in contact. The strongest adhesion was observed between Col IV films, and between Col IV and LN-521 films after 30 s contact time. In contrast, low adhesion was measured between CNF films, as well as between CNF and LN-521 films. Nevertheless, a good adhesion between CNF and collagen films (especially Col I) was observed. These results increase our understanding of the structure of biological systems and can support the design of new matrices or scaffolds where different biomaterials are combined for diverse biological or medical applications.
  • Davidson, Sarah; Efremova, Mirjana; Riedel, Angela; Mahata, Bidesh; Pramanik, Jhuma; Huuhtanen, Jani; Kar, Gozde; Vento-Tormo, Roser; Hagai, Tzachi; Chen, Xi; Haniffa, Muzlifah A.; Shields, Jacqueline D.; Teichmann, Sarah A. (2020)
    Here, using single-cell RNA sequencing, we examine the stromal compartment in murine melanoma and draining lymph nodes (LNs) at points across tumor development, providing data at Naive lymphocytes from LNs undergo activation and clonal expansion within the tumor, before PD1 and Lag3 expression, while tumor-associated myeloid cells promote the formation of a suppressive niche. We identify three temporally distinct stromal populations displaying unique functional signatures, conserved across mouse and human tumors. Whereas "immune" stromal cells are observed in early tumors, "contractile" cells become more prevalent at later time points. Complement component C3 is specifically expressed in the immune population. Its cleavage product C3a supports the recruitment of C3aR(+) macrophages, and perturbation of C3a and C3aR disrupts immune infiltration, slowing tumor growth. Our results highlight the power of scRNA-seq to identify complex interplays and increase stromal diversity as a tumor develops, revealing that stromal cells acquire the capacity to modulate immune landscapes from early disease.
  • Bao, Jie; Walliander, Margarita; Kovacs, Ferenc; Nagaraj, Ashwini S.; Hemmes, Annabrita; Sarhadi, Virinder Kaur; Knuutila, Sakari; Lundin, Johan; Horvath, Peter; Verschuren, Emmy W. (2019)
    To facilitate analysis of spatial tissue phenotypes, we created an open-source tool package named 'Spa-RQ' for 'Spatial tissue analysis: image Registration & Quantification'. Spa-RQ contains software for image registration (Spa-R) and quantitative analysis of DAB staining overlap (Spa-Q). It provides an easy-to-implement workflow for serial sectioning and staining as an alternative to multiplexed techniques. To demonstrate Spa-RQ's applicability, we analysed the spatial aspects of oncogenic KRAS-related signalling activities in non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). Using Spa-R in conjunction with ImageJ/Fiji, we first performed annotation-guided tumour-by-tumour phenotyping using multiple signalling markers. This analysis showed histopathology-selective activation of PI3K/AKT and MAPK signalling in Kras mutant murine tumours, as well as high p38MAPK stress signalling in p53 null murine NSCLC. Subsequently, Spa-RQ was applied to measure the co-activation of MAPK, AKT, and their mutual effector mTOR pathway in individual tumours. Both murine and clinical NSCLC samples could be stratified into 'MAPK/mTOR', 'AKT/mTOR', and 'Null' signature subclasses, suggesting mutually exclusive MAPK and AKT signalling activities. Spa-RQ thus provides a robust and easy to use tool that can be employed to identify spatially-distributed tissue phenotypes.
  • Riihilä, P.; Viiklepp, K.; Nissinen, L.; Farshchian, M.; Kallajoki, M.; Kivisaari, A.; Meri, S.; Peltonen, J.; Peltonen, S.; Kähäri, V-M. (2020)
    Summary Background Incidence of epidermal keratinocyte-derived cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma (cSCC) is increasing worldwide. Objectives To study the role of complement classical pathway components C1q, C1r and C1s in the progression of cSCC. Methods The mRNA levels of C1Q subunits, C1R and C1S in cSCC cell lines, normal human epidermal keratinocytes (NHEKs), cSCC tumors in vivo and normal skin were analyzed with quantitative RT-PCR. The production of C1r and C1s was determined with Western blotting. The expression of C1r and C1s in tissue samples in vivo was analyzed with immunohistochemistry and further investigated in human cSCC xenografts by knocking down C1r and C1s. Results Significantly elevated C1R and C1S mRNA levels and production of C1r and C1s were detected in cSCC cells, compared to normal human epidermal keratinocytes. The mRNA levels of C1R and C1S were markedly elevated in cSCC tumors in vivo compared to normal skin. Abundant expression of C1r and C1s by tumor cells was detected in invasive sporadic cSCCs and recessive dystrophic epidermolysis bullosa-associated cSCCs, whereas the expression of C1r and C1s was lower in cSCC in situ, actinic keratosis, and normal skin. Knockdown of C1r and C1s expression in cSCC cells inhibited activation of ERK1/2 and Akt, promoted apoptosis of cSCC cells and significantly suppressed growth and vascularization of human cSCC xenograft tumors in vivo. Conclusions These results provide evidence for the role of tumor cell-derived C1r and C1s in the progression of cSCC and identify them as biomarkers and putative therapeutic targets in cSCC. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.